USA to slap tariffs on extra $200 billion of Chinese imports

According to the Ministry of Commerce, China considered the substitution of imports and the overall impact on trade and investment while making up a list of USA goods hit by import duties. Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the cross-hairs of an escalating global trade war, said Hun Quach, the head of worldwide trade policy for the group.

This builds on 25 per cent tariffs on $US34 billion worth of Chinese imports into the US that took effect at midnight on Friday, and carries out US President Donald Trump's threat to respond to any Chinese retaliation to those taxes.

Chinese tariffs have already taken a toll on US exports such as soybeans, which raises questions about the possible political repercussions President Trump could face from farmers who supported him in the 2016 election. He added the USA is ready to target an additional $200 billion, and then $300 billion more should Beijing retaliate.

The White House has complained that China has used predatory practices in a relentless push to grant Chinese companies an unfair advantage in the industries of the future, including robotics, electric cars and biopharmaceuticals. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chair of the Senate Finance committee. "There is no justification for such action", he said in a statement.

Beijing has vowed to respond in kind to any US trade action.

"The Trump administration is gambling that by wielding such a big club, it will force China to back down", said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

"They were the ones who started everything by hurting us", the official said.

The tariffs could take effect after public consultations end on August 30, according to a statement from the US Trade Representative's office Tuesday.

"Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war", said Hun Quach, the head of worldwide trade policy for the group. "This new round of proposed tariffs takes the fight onto yet another level from which it is going to be hard for either side to make a graceful retreat", said Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund's China division. Since then, the president has said his administration could impose duties on virtually all Chinese imports into the U.S.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has supported Trump's tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, also criticized the administration's move.

Harborn said a European supplier of environmental technology believed it might have been awarded a Chinese government contract ahead of an American competitor due to its non-US status.

"Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour - behaviour that puts the future of the United States economy at risk".

The Washington Post's Danielle Paquette reported from Beijing.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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