US President Donald Trump threatens $100 billion more tariffs on China

Charlene Craig
April 7, 2018

A quarter of Boeing aircraft are sold to China.

The US Department of Agriculture is looking for ways to assist farmers affected by China's tariffs, USDA undersecretary Bill Northey told Reuters, but did not offer specifics.

President Donald Trump has instructed the USA trade representative to consider slapping $100 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

Washington's move, broadly flagged in March, is aimed at forcing Beijing to address what Washington says is deeply entrenched theft of USA intellectual property and forced technology transfer from US companies to Chinese competitors, charges Chinese officials deny.

The Midwestern states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana and Missouri account for just over half of all U.S. soy production.

"The United States is still prepared to have discussions in further support of our commitment to achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade and to protect the technology and intellectual property of American companies and American people".

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"We hope the U.S. will actively respond to China's efforts to expand imports, Wang said, inviting American businesses to attend the first China International Import Expo in November and show their products and services to Chinese consumers".

China needed to respond to any protectionist measures from the USA, said RaboResearch senior economist Hugo Erken.

Tesla electric cars, Ford's Lincoln auto models, Gulfstream jets made by General Dynamics and Brown-Forman Corp's Jack Daniel's whiskey are also on Beijing's list.

China responded to President Donald Trump's new tariffs by threatening tariffs of its own on 106 USA products, including on soybeans, cars and some airplanes, in the latest escalation of what risks becoming a tit-for-tat trade war between the world's two largest economies.

"The proposed list of products is based on extensive interagency economic analysis and would target products that benefit from China's industrial plans while minimizing the impact on the US economy", the office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement. Trump accused China of continued "misconduct" and "unfair retaliation".

The brinksmanship may still lead to a breakthrough in the coming days, with Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled to give a major speech on "new opening up measures China will take" at the Boao Forum on Monday, according to Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

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"The actual tariff process takes months before (anything) is enacted", Schatz says. If anyone wants to fight we will be there with him. "Even shooting wars end with negotiations", he said.

"In attempting to block China's rise the Trump administration has launched an attack not only on China but on USA companies, workers and farmers". -China trade battles playing out. "Investors believe a trade war will hurt both countries and their economies eventually".

But, he said, "at the end of the day, China's unfair and illegal trading actions are damaging to economic growth, for the United States, for China and for the rest of the world".

Earlier on Wednesday, China said it would levy an additional 25 percent levy on about $50 billion of US imports including soybeans, automobiles, chemicals and aircraft.

Europe's reaction was sour, too, with London's FTSE and Paris's CAC40 down around 0.5 per cent, while the export-heavy German DAX was more than 1.3 per cent weaker as the nervousness spread.

Chinese policies "coerce American companies into transferring their technology" to Chinese enterprises, said a USTR statement.

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