China to hit USA with tariffs on USA imports worth $16bn

Charlene Craig
August 8, 2018

The Trump administration ramped up the pressure for trade concessions from Beijing last week by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The latest charge comes after the USA said it would implement another round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods.

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite fresh USA duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as Washington finalised its new tariff list in a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth. China in turn retaliated by proposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods, with the extra levies ranging from 5 to 25 percent.

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute over Washington's charges that China uses predatory tactics in a drive to supplant US technological supremacy.

The tariffs are aimed at industrial, rather than consumer, imports.

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The Chinese government said in a statement Wednesday that the taxes would be imposed on August 23.

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China's closely watched surplus with the United States dipped only slightly to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June. And President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on virtually everything China sells to the United States.

The Trump administration has maintained that the tariffs are necessary to force China into changing economic behavior it says harms the US.

The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed that "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce".

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Trump has threatened to levy a 25% tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to the U.S. - a move that would blow open the disagreement between the countries.

Front page commentary published across all state newspapers by the official Xinhua news agency said: "Certain people go against the tide for their own private ends and go against morality; the barrier of tariffs wantonly rise, and the stick of hegemony is raised all around".

The escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies...has seen the two sides impose tariffs on 34-billion dollars worth of each other's goods.

"Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems", it said.

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