Trump administration announces $US200 billion in extra China tariffs

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing to publish a list of an additional US$200 billion in Chinese products to be hit with tariffs, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the matter, in the latest step in the trade skirmish between the world's two biggest economies.

The office will accept public comments and hold hearings on the plan this coming August 20-23 before reaching a decision after August 31, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

The Trump administration's 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of medical equipment, electronics and other goods from China, imposed in a dispute over technology policy, apply to exports made by USA or European companies as well as Chinese suppliers. "There is no justification for such action".

On Friday, the USA slapped 25 percent taxes on $34 billion in Chinese imports, majority are industrial goods that the Trump administration says receive subsidies or other unfair support from Beijing.

The Trump administration has accused companies in China of repeatedly committing intellectual property theft and other unfair trade practices, while it says China's government remains unresponsive to its concerns.

More than 6,031 product lines are affected by the proposed tariffs, including seafood, fruits and vegetables, grains, tobacco, auto rearview mirrors and burglar alarms.

Some US business groups and senior politicians sharply criticized the latest action, with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican, saying it "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach". USA officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified.

The US is planning to implement 25 per cent tariffs on a further $US16 billion worth of Chinese imports within the next fortnight.

The new duties are "a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm USA families and workers", said David French, the National Retail Federation's senior vice president for government relations.

America's trade war with China is back on. These tactics include the outright theft of trade secrets, government subsidies to homegrown tech firms and demands that USA and other foreign companies hand over technology if they want access to China's vast market. But Trump hasn't backed down, arguing that China's unfair trading practices are hurting American workers.