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Trump proposes raising tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese imports

04 August, 2018, 22:56 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • The Trump administration had initially announced a 10 percent tariff

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is proposing a tariff rate increase on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent as the two countries continue conversations to determine whether trade talks can be resumed, senior Trump administration officials said on Wednesday.

The proposal would increase the potential tariff rate from 10 percent the administration had initially put forward on July 10 for that wave of duties in a bid to pressure Beijing into making trade concessions, a source familiar with the plan said on Tuesday.

"Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against United States workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses", Mr Lighthizer said in a statement. The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over USA demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit.

In Beijing Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that "blackmail and pressure from the United States side will never work on China".

But the move drew swift condemnation from US business lobby groups anxious that tit-for-tat tariffs would start to hamper economic growth.

President Trump has proposed that USA trade officials raise tariffs on Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent over a perceived failure to address concerns regarding unfair trading practices, officials said.

Trump has complained repeatedly about the gap between the amount of goods US companies buy from China and the amount of goods that USA companies export to China.

The Phoney War stage of U.S. President Donald Trump's trade dispute with China may be ending, with economic indicators and commodity flows and prices starting to show real world effects. A 25% tariff would boost the cost of a range of USA imports at a time when inflation has begun to pick up.

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The trading relationship between the USA and China has moved from near zero to a deficit of $US375 billion over the past 20 years.

Senior administration officials expressed frustration Wednesday that China has responded to USA tariffs with retaliation rather than capitulation.

"China has illegally retaliated against USA workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

While raising the bar on countermeasures at each point, China has also knocked the doors of the WTO dispute settlement body with trade disputes against the US's illegal and unilateral crowbar trade measures.

"First, we advise the U.S. side to correct its attitude and not to try to engage in blackmail", China's foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Thursday.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office initially had set a deadline for final public comments on the 10 percent proposed tariffs to be filed by August 30, with public hearings scheduled for August 20-23.

There have been no formal talks between Washington and Beijing for weeks over Mr Trump's demands that China make fundamental changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, technology transfers and subsidies for high technology industries.

Ed Bryztwa, director of worldwide trade at the American Chemistry Council, was especially concerned about the additional tariffs, even before the threat of more than doubling the tariff rate. Since then, the USA has continued to expand the list of targeted goods, and even threatened to add tariffs on all Chinese goods. "The 25% duty would be applied to the proposed list of products previously announced on July 10".

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