Trump administration announces $22b in fresh tariffs on China

A Chinese worker looks on as a cargo ship is loaded at a port in Qingdao Shandong Province

A Chinese worker looks on as a cargo ship is loaded at a port in Qingdao Shandong Province

Customs officials will begin collecting the border tax August 23, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says. The list is heavy on industrial products such as steam turbines and iron girders.

The Trump administration announced today that it would impose 25 per cent tariffs on imports of 279 items from China amounting to United States dollars 16 billion.

August 3: China announces that the country will impose tariffs of various rates on another $60 billion worth of USA goods if Trump moves forward with his latest threat.

The Trump administration ramped up the pressure for trade concessions from Beijing last week by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The total could increase soon.

A weaker yuan, which marked its worst 4-month fall on record between April and July, may have taken the sting out of 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion exports to the United States. That was off slightly from June's 13.6% rate but still stronger than China's global export growth.

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Chinese state media, reflecting the government's stance, has said China will not be cowed in the face of U.S. threats. While there's no major risk of the world lapsing into "damaging stagflation", the possibility remains of a "bigger blow-up" that sharply reduces trade, as in the 1930s, it said.

It has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in United States goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products. Schneider National Carriers Inc. and other firms testified during a hearing July 24-25 in Washington that there are no United States manufacturers and that the containers are nearly exclusively made in China.

Chinese state media has said Beijing will not be cowed by Washington's threats.

The investigation had revealed that China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from United States companies and it deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.

The US says the tariffs are to penalise China for "unfair" trade practices. But within days, Trump himself backed away from the deal, saying talks would "probably have to use a different structure". An earlier round of tariffs that went into effect on July 6 applied to $34 billion in imports.

President Trump had repeatedly expressed discontent over the USA trade deficit with China, accusing the country of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, and of providing state aid to Chinese firms.

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