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Washington to consider imposing tariffs on additional $100 bln in China imports

07 April 2018

China has fired the latest salvo in a possible trade war, saying it will take on the United States "until the end at any cost".

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said China's response isn't expected to disrupt the U.S. economy. In an interview on CNBC on Wednesday, he said China's reaction "shouldn't surprise anyone".

Still, U.S. stock futures slumped over concerns that the back-and-forth tariff actions will stunt trade and growth.

"Even shooting wars end with negotiations", Ross said.

In a separate dispute, Beijing raised tariffs Monday on a $3 billion list of USA goods including pork, apples and steel pipe in response to increased duties on imports of steel and aluminum that took effect March 23.

Canadian producers can't automatically replace American products, but if the material is the same, multinational companies might try to relocate their production destined for China to escape US duties, Podruzny added.

There will be a 60-day delay before the USA tariffs take effect, while China said its timetable for the proposed new tariffs would depend on when the U.S. acted.

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The US shipped $14.6 billion of soybeans to China, its biggest buyer, in the last marketing year - more than a third of the entire crop.

Trump threatened an additional United States dollars 100 billion in tit-for-tat tariffs on Beijing Thursday, in the latest step in an escalating trade dispute. Going further to add that China is prepared to follow suit and fight the any cost.

Besides advanced technologies such as communication satellites, the US list includes items ranging from various types of steel to television components, medical devices, dishwashers, snow blowers and even flame throwers.

To minimize the cost to China, regulators picked products for which replacements are available, such as soybeans from Australia or Brazil, said Tu Xinquan, director of WTO studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. Cutting deficit requires efforts from both the sides.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer called China's moved "unjustified" and said Trump's proposal was an "appropriate response to China's recent threat of new tariffs".

Beijing's proposed targets strike at the core of commercial relations between the countries, and at some of the most politically sensitive goods in core Trump constituencies. Farm states generally backed Trump in the 2016 election and their exports could be hurt.

Exports to China directly or indirectly supported 1.8 million new in 2015, according to the U.S.

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The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) is closely monitoring the impacts of China's decision to impose increased tariffs on 128 imported US agricultural products.

"History and reality have repeatedly proved that economic globalisation has provided a strong impetus for the development of global trade and economics", the newspaper said, adding that the United States was "one of the biggest beneficiaries" of this. The agency said it chose products to minimize the impact on the US economy and consumers.

"Any additional tariffs proposed will be subject to a similar public comment process as the proposed tariffs announced on April 3, 2018".

The USTR's "Section 301" investigation authorizing the tariffs alleges China has systematically sought to misappropriate US intellectual property through joint venture requirements that often can not be negotiated without technology transfers, something China denies.

Trump started this exchange in March announcing a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum from China and a host of other countries, including India.

Brazil supplied about half of the almost 100 million tonnes of soybean imported by China past year.

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday morning, Ross said the tariffs announced by China amount to a mere 0.3 percent of America's gross domestic product. "People from American industries may exert pressure on the USA government and influence final policy implementation".

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Washington to consider imposing tariffs on additional $100 bln in China imports