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Trump throws $200 bln tariff bomb at China

19 September 2018

The United States' trade war with China continues to escalate, after President Donald Trump announced yesterday that he was prepared to slap tariffs on an additional $267 billion of Chinese goods - almost half of all the country's imports into the U.S.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on Tuesday that the country will retaliate against Trump's new tariffs with its own 5-10 percent levies on $60 billion of U.S. goods.

"Once again, I urge China's leaders to take swift action to end their country's unfair trade practices", Trump said.

Beijing had previously threatened to impose tariffs of between 5 percent and 25 percent on us products such as meat, coffee, furniture and auto parts - if the Trump administration went ahead with its plan to target $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to say that any further action by China targeting USA farmers and industrial workers would result in "great and fast economic retaliation" from the US. "What China does not understand is that these people are great patriots and fully understand that".

US President Donald Trump said a day earlier he will impose 10 percent tariffs on about $200bn worth of Chinese products.

Trump warned on Monday that if China takes retaliatory action against USA farmers or industries, "we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports".

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President Trump announced the changes on Monday evening in a move that is sure to encourage hostilities between Washington and Beijing.

But aside from adjusting the list of products affected by the tariffs, such as removing smart watches from the latest round, the administration has remained largely impervious to the efforts of lobbyists.

The Commerce Ministry gave no details of a possible response to USA tariffs imposed in the fight between the two biggest global economies over Beijing's technology policy.

The move is the administration's way of addressing the theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology. He campaigned on a promise to tax imports and rewrite or tear up trade agreements that he said put US companies and workers at a disadvantage.

Officials have said they want to shield consumer goods from the taxes as much as possible. It was unclear if the tariffs announced on Tuesday were lower to match the United States plan. According to these experts, a large USA trade deficit with China means that America is a wealthy country and American consumers can afford the most up-to-date devices.

China's finance ministry said it will respond accordingly if the United States further increases tariffs.

But that doesn't mean China won't respond to the Trump administration's tariffs.

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China slapped $60bn worth of tariffs on American goods on Tuesday in retaliation for new tariffs announced by the United States.

By expanding the list to $200 billion of Chinese products, Trump may spread the pain to ordinary households.

Such claims have been strongly disputed by business experts and former United States government trade negotiators.

USA companies have already said they are anxious about the effect of higher costs on their businesses and warned of the risk of job cuts.

The US Chamber of Commerce, retailers, agricultural groups and some members of the Republican Party have spoken against his tariff campaign. "U.S. household will soon face higher prices for common goods", he said.

"We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly".

Moorhead said he believed some tech firms, however, are "secretly applauding" the tough stand by Trump because it may over time impact the imbalance in trade between the two countries.

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Trump throws $200 bln tariff bomb at China