Trump moves ahead with Chinese trade tariffs, threatening to reignite tensions

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The White House said Tuesday it would impose a 25-percent tariff on $50 billion (€43 billion) worth of Chinese goods, reversing an earlier decision to put trade frictions on hold.

Navarro's comments underscore the frequent shifts in the Trump administration's position on China - which the president has both praised and denigrated since before he took office past year - and come shortly before US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross departs for Beijing for a third round of high-level talks aimed at defusing the trade dispute.

But the White House said on Tuesday that a final list of imports slated for tariffs will be published by 15 June.

The US will impose a hefty 25 per cent tariff on the United States dollars 50 billion worth of Chinese goods containing "industrially significant" technology, the White House said today, days after the two sides reached an agreement and vowed not to launch a trade war against each other. The communist regime has also engaged in rampant intellectual property theft.

Donald Trump is gearing up for a trade war with China.

Both sides said they had agreed not to impose new tariffs on one another as talks continued, and that China would increase purchases of American goods and services to reduce the $375 billion trade imbalance. China hit back at that, with a foreign ministry spokeswoman saying on Wednesday that China would respond accordingly if the US insisted on unilateral measures.

"Quoting a White House statement, CNN reported that the president plans to take "multiple steps" to protect technology and intellectual property from certain discriminatory and burdensome trade practices by China".

Threats of a trade war between the United States and China had hit financial markets hard, although now most economists believe the two will manage to avoid a major economic conflict.

Congressman Matt Gaetz commended Trump for taking action against China's ruthless and unfair trade practices, as well as its state-sponsored theft of American innovators' intellectual property (IP).

Analysts said the U.S. move may be an attempt to gain leverage ahead of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's visit to China later this week for talks.

The White House's latest tariff action focuses on advanced technologies, including those such as robots and electric cars that China has said it wants to develop under its "Made in China 2025" program. The status of the agreement is unclear now that U.S. tariffs look set to go forward.

In response, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said it was "surprised" by the move but at the same time "somewhat expected" it.

The White House announcement came on the heels of stiff criticism from lawmakers of the White House 's negotiating tactics and willingness to soften tough penalties in some cases with no benefit to the US.

The tariff threat could still disrupt Ross's China talks.

USA companies still fret that they will get caught in the crossfire of a trade war between the United States and China.

"We lost the trade war long ago".

Trump administration officials last month proposed a ban on sales of crucial American technology to ZTE, a giant Chinese telecom company that employs 80,000 people.

Navarro is seen as closely aligned with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who spearheaded his department's investigation into China's trade and investment policies.