Trump To Impose Additional $200 Billion Tariffs On Chinese Imports

Hugh Fox
July 11, 2018

The initial U.S. tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products in an attempt to limit the impact on American consumers.

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

The United States had just imposed tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday, firing the first shots of a trade war.

While China's theft and coercion of intellectual property from foreign companies is a widely acknowledged problem, trade experts are largely skeptical of Mr. Trump's strategy to deal with it through punitive tariffs.

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The administration said the new levies are a response to China's decision to retaliate against the first round of U.S. tariffs.

The extra taxes were announced after Beijing immediately responded with its own tariffs of $34 billion on USA products.

The White House says the tariffs are a response to unfair trade practices by China.

The move drew immediate condemnation from Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, who called it "reckless" and not "targeted".

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President Donald Trump vowed to hit back on a growing list of products after China retaliated in kind for the first round of 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion worth of imports that Washington imposed last week.

The Trump administration said it cracked down on China for a range of trade practices involving intellectual property and technology that cost US companies an estimated $50 billion annually. These tactics include the outright theft of trade secrets, government subsidies to homegrown tech firms and demands that USA and other foreign companies hand over technology if they want access to China's vast market.

Chinese tariffs have already taken a toll on USA 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. The official added that China has warned the USA that future actions would be met with "economic attacks" on American markets. But Mr Trump hasn't backed down, arguing that China's unfair trading practices are hurting American workers.

The fight with China comes as Mr. Trump is also locked in a trade war with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and other US allies. China has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar to any further US tariffs.

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Administration officials said they hoped the measures would convince the Chinese government to increase market access for United States companies and address allegations of the theft of intellectual property. The President imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on these countries, and has threatened to hit them with levies on imported cars and trucks.

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