Trump administration threatens tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports

A woman tends to a child near a promotional gimmick in the form of a bomb and the U.S. flag outside a U.S. apparel shop in Beijing

A woman tends to a child near a promotional gimmick in the form of a bomb and the U.S. flag outside a U.S. apparel shop in Beijing

In Congress, top Republicans raised concerns over the escalating tariffs and called on Trump to sit down with Chinese President Xi Jinping to address the conflict before it hurts more farmers, consumers and businesses in the world's two largest economies. The move came just four days after the two countries imposed tit-for-tat tariffs of $34 billion on each other's products.

"The latest list of $200 billion of products to be subject to tariffs against China doubles down on a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm US families and workers".

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will accept public comments and hold hearings on the plan August 20-23 before reaching a decision after August 31, according to a senior administration official.

Beijing described the latest United States move as "totally unacceptable" bullying, and urged other countries to join China to protect free trade and multilateralism. "There is no justification for such action", he said in a statement.

Calling Washington's behavior irrational, Beijing warned that the United States is, in the first instance, hurting itself with protectionist measures and constant attacks on free trade.

The latest round of import taxes on Chinese goods has a two month public commentary period and the USA administration is being open about the fact that they expect China to discuss the move leading one to wonder if it will actually be imposed.

The tariffs initiated by U.S. President Donald Trump have also drawn criticism from lawmakers in his own Republican Party, as well as from U.S. trade groups anxious about higher costs for businesses and consumers.

Washington on Tuesday announced it was starting the process to slap 10-percent tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese export goods as soon as September.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed Chinese officials, said Beijing was considering steps including holding up licenses for USA companies, delaying approvals of mergers involving US firms and stepping up border inspections of American goods.

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Some of Wall Street's biggest banks have run the numbers on how President Donald J. Trump's latest trade salvo will hit economic growth in the United States and China.

Beijing has said it would hit back against Washington's escalating tariff measures, including through "qualitative measures", a threat that USA businesses in China fear could mean anything from stepped-up inspections to delays in investment approvals and even consumer boycotts.

WHAT NEXT? On Friday the US and China put 25 percent taxes on $34 billion in imports and President Donald Trump has said almost all imports from China, some $500 billion in goods, could be taxed.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 1.5%, while the Shanghai Composite fell 1.8%.

The officials said they tried to target goods that would reduce the harm to US consumers. Tariffs are taxes on consumers and businesses.

Trump's latest move took the wind out of investors' sails largely because the central scenario for many in the markets is that Washington will eventually step back from the escalating row and settle for some sort of compromise.

In addition, the considering separate duties on a further US$16 billion in Chinese goods, after a public hearing later this month.

The US trade deficit in goods with China ballooned to a record $375.2bn previous year, stoking Trump's anger.

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