USA impose new $200bn tariffs on China imports

Virginia Carson
September 18, 2018

The Trump administration will impose tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods starting next week, escalating a trade war between the world's two biggest economies and potentially raising prices on consumer goods ranging from handbags to bicycle tires.

The action would bring the total amount of Chinese products subject to duties to $250 billion, roughly half of the amount the United States imported from that country in 2017.

"If the tariffs go to 25 percent at the beginning of the year, you will have had nearly six months to get your business ready for that", a senior administration official told reporters on Monday.

President Trump intends to impose tariffs on $200 billion of China's exports to the USA this week, according the Wall Street Journal. President Donald Trump said he would make an announcement after financial markets close.

A senior Trump administration official told reporters that the United States was open to further talks with Beijing, but offered no immediate details on when any new meetings may occur.

Additional tariffs on $267 billion of imports from China would push the cumulative total beyond the amount of goods the US bought from the Asian nation previous year. "It is hard to see what the administration's vision of an endgame might be other than total capitulation by China to all U.S. demands".

"For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies", he said. It will cost jobs and economic growth even though China is now far less reliant on exports than it once was.

The President's decision threatens to upend the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough with Chinese negotiators.

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"The sooner President Xi and President Trump meet to craft a new trade path forward, the better", said Representative Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

China wants talks based on 'mutual trust, ' said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang.

Chinese authorities have yet to confirm what steps aside from retaliatory tariffs they might take. "Consumers - not China - will bear the brunt of these tariffs and American farmers and ranchers will see the harmful effects of retaliation worsen".

Initial reaction from the business community Monday was unfavourable.

Heaping more duties on Chinese goods will only further distance Beijing from negotiating an end to the escalating conflict, according to one of the people. China has promised to retaliate.

Apple had said the USA tariffs would affect prices for a "wide range" of Apple products, including its Watch, in a letter commenting on administration proposals earlier this month.

With the latest tariff escalation, American consumers could start feeling the cost in everyday goods.

Altogether about 300 product categories were given reprieves, including some non-tech consumer devices such as bicycle helmets and baby auto seats. Apple won waivers for several of its popular consumer products including the Apple Watch.

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Trump also has complained about America's massive trade deficit - $336 billion previous year - with China, its biggest trading partner. Yet despite months of tariff talk, the gap between what the U.S. buys from China and what it sells there continues to widen.

Talks between the European Union and Britain on Brexit are being conducted in a spirit of "good cooperation", said Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator on the issue. "There's no way around it". This is the inherent, objective, logic of the latest trade war measures. The price of washing machines in the U.S.

But uncertainty over trade policy remains unusually high. If countries will not make fair deals with us, they will be "Tariffed!"

Oil prices rebounded from earlier losses as supply concerns outweighed assurances from Washington that Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States can raise output fast enough to offset falling supplies from Iran and elsewhere. "The businesses are going to pour back into the United States. A lot of money coming in". Chinese news reports have quoted a former finance minister as saying Beijing can disrupt American companies' operations by imposing "export controls" if it needs more leverage in its mounting tariff dispute with Washington. Both countries have already slapped levies on $50 billion of each other's exports.

In the latest iteration, almost half of Chinese imports face tariffs, including consumer products that range from furniture to building products and seafood.

"(The FAANG stocks have) had great runs; the fact that they'd come off a little bit really doesn't detract from the fact that they've put in some very good performance numbers this year", Nolte said.

Business groups are pinning their hopes for defusing the standoff on talk that Trump and Xi could meet this fall on the sidelines of an worldwide gathering such as November's G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. But Trump quickly backed away from the truce. It was not under Obama. China's economy is slowing, with consumers holding back and infrastructure spending dropping sharply. "Now everything is subject to the president deciding".

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