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China plans tariffs on $60bn of US goods in latest trade salvo

04 August 2018

While previously China issued retaliatory tariffs targeting USA goods in areas of the US where President Trump typically finds support, Friday's announcement from China did not identify which US goods would be hit with the $60 billion in new retaliatory tariffs.

The Finance Ministry accused the Trump administration of damaging the global economy after it proposed hiking duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods in the second round of a dispute over technology.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned China after it announced its retaliatory tariffs, saying Beijing should not underestimate US President Donald Trump's determination to act on trade.

Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a signing ceremony during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing, China April 27, 2018.

The US and China implemented tariffs on $46 billion worth of each others' goods in July.

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Calling the Chinese economy weak from the lawn of the White House in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Kudlow said: "The president has said time and again, that targeted tariffs are going to be part of the gameplan with China - unless, and until, they begin to meet our requests, and so far they have not".

The White House issued a statement Friday, condemning the proposal. The deficit in goods trade with China also rose.

China is threatening to impose the tariffs on a wide range of products, including chemicals, plastics and leather goods, according to business groups representing those industries.

"Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensi-fication of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties", said the statement.

Washington and Beijing are locked in a battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of American technological know-how.

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Trump earlier proposed 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports.

Answering a reporter's question about what was specifically said on trade, Wang said: "We did not speak in such details". After earlier action against $34 billion of USA goods, that left about $120 billion for retaliation.

China's tariffs could threaten to significantly dampen the growth of LNG exports, which have been central to Trump's energy agenda.

The threats and counterthreats have stirred increasing unease from US business and farm groups, which argue that they are the ones losing money and business based on all the new restrictions.

Beijing can not match those measures dollar for dollar, as its exports far exceed imports.

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China plans tariffs on $60bn of US goods in latest trade salvo