Trump administration moves ahead with new round of tariffs on Chinese imports

10 August, 2018, 06:36 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • U.S.-China trade war update Motorcycles and railway cars are among the $16 billion in items U.S. is targeting next

"People really need to get used to a world with tit-for-tat tariffs in place between the two largest economies", said Wendy Cutler, a former USA trade negotiator.

The U.S. Trade Representative announced the widely expected 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese imports on august 7, and Beijing immediately responded with tariffs on U.S. exports.

The Chinese counter-move will take effect immediately after the U.S. imposes tariffs on the same amount of Chinese goods on 23 August.

China buys nearly $18 billion a year worth of goods from Washington state every year.

However, the U.S. imports far more from China than it exports to it, meaning Beijing may at some point need to look for other means of retaliation. This is the second tranche of such tariffs and comes into effect on August 23.

A spokesman for the commerce ministry described the latest round of USA tariffs as "very unreasonable".

Washington and Beijing are locked in a battle over USA accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, and especially from the theft of American technological know-how. The U.S. Trade Representative's Office is reviewing tariffs on a further US$200 billion in Chinese imports and those duties could start once a comment period ends on September 6.

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US President Donald Trump started announcing new tariffs on imports in January as part of an attempt to negotiate what he called "fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores".

This list of imports, valued at about $16 billion, follows the first round of tariffs that went into effect July 6, representing some $34 billion of products. Beijing is expected to hit $16 billion worth of U.S. goods with equal tariffs in response to Tuesday's move. Over the weekend, Trump told a rally he holds the advantage over China, adding playing hardball on trade is "my thing".

The new list covers products such as semiconductors, electronics, plastics, and railway equipment. China's exports to the United States fell by 2.5 percent to $41.5 billion month-on-month, while imports of United States goods plunged 1.5 percent to $13.4 billion, according to data from General Administration of Customs on Wednesday, as quoted by the media.

Announcing the new duties, the US Trade Representatives Office: "China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, US companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer".

China's exports to the United States rose 13.3 percent in the first seven months of 2018 from a year earlier, compared with a 13.5 percent rise in Jan-June.

This article was written by Damian Paletta, Amanda Erickson and David J. Lynch, reporters for The Washington Post.

Administration officials believe that the $505 billion Americans spend on Chinese products each year gives them leverage over China.

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