Trump to approve tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese goods

Adjust Comment Print

President Trump set to approve a new list of $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods, according to press reports.

The news sent Shanghai stocks spiralling downwards on Friday to end at the lowest level since September 2016.

The deadline to release the list comes as Washington faces a dizzying array of parallel diplomatic horse trading, as Trump is increasingly dependent on Beijing to help advance efforts at North Korean denuclearization, while also using aggressive trade tactics on all major U.S. economic partners. "That is why I am calling on President Trump to fight for American jobs with a comprehensive strategy that puts American economic interests front and centre", she said.

China has published its own list of threatened tariffs on $50 billion in US goods, including soybeans, aircraft, and autos, and has said it would hit back if Washington followed up with further measures.

"All the results from the negotiations will not go into effect", Geng repeated.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng revealed that while there had been no bilateral talks between the two sides on trade disputes, the U.S. did follow WTO procedures to open a dialogue following China's petition that USA trade practices violated WTO rules.

"The president's trade team has recommended tariffs. They want to give the Chinese a little more time", the former senior Central Intelligence Agency official for East Asia told AFP.

The Washington Post, quoting unnamed administration officials, reported that Trump is planning to announce a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese products.

The president said that the United States will pursue additional tariffs if China retaliates "such as imposing new tariffs on United States goods, services or agricultural products; raising non-tariff barriers; or taking punitive actions against American exporters or American companies operating in China".

USTR is expected to release the list of affected goods on Friday.

However, the list was due to be trimmed after a public comment period to reduce the negative impact on U.S. companies and consumers, so the final total is not confirmed.

The Trump administration is also working on measures to tighten export controls and restrict China's takeover of U.S. sensitive technology, measures that are scheduled to be unveiled by the end of the month.

Though it's not clear yet when the tariffs will come into force, Chinese authorities have warned of a fast response to protect China if Washington hurts its interests. Chinese officials have said they would drop agreements reached last month to buy more US soybeans, natural gas and other products.

Trump reportedly met Thursday with several Cabinet members and trade advisers and was expected to impose tariffs on at least $35 billion to $40 billion of Chinese imports.

"I think the Chinese have been mystified by what the administration wants", said Nicholas Lardy, an expert on the Chinese economy at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

"Purchases of U.S. goods will not bring the end to the confrontation".

The Trump White House is turning its trade war arsenal back on China.

If implemented, the tariffs will dent economic growth on both sides of the Pacific, analysts say. "It really does depend on whether China makes a move to ameliorate Trump's concerns, and so far they haven't". "This situation is no longer sustainable", he said.

Trump is shaking up the world economic order with his zeal for tariffs and embrace of trade conflict as a way to secure benefits for the U.S. He threw a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy economies into turmoil by revoking support for the group's joint statement and berating the summit's host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "It's not going to do any good".