Trump slaps fresh tariffs on $200B of Chinese goods

Trump slaps fresh tariffs on $200B of Chinese goods

Trump slaps fresh tariffs on $200B of Chinese goods

China said on Tuesday that it has no choice but to retaliate against new USA trade tariffs, raising the risk that President Donald Trump could soon impose duties on virtually all of the Chinese goods that America buys.

President Donald Trump made the announcement on Monday (Tuesday NZT) in a move that is sure to ratchet up hostilities between Washington and Beijing.

Beijing will impose levies on a total of 5,207 US products - ranging from liquefied natural gas to certain types of aircraft as well as cocoa powder and frozen vegetables - at 5 and 10 percent, instead of previously proposed rates of 5, 10, 20 and 25 percent, the finance ministry said. China has said it will retaliate.

"Tariffs have put the a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been nearly unnoticeable", the president tweeted.

Last week, Beijing said it welcomed overtures from U.S. officials offering to re-start trade talks, but press reports indicate China would call off any meetings if the new punitive duties take effect. That would raise the total to US$517 billion (NZ$787 billion) - covering almost everything China sells the US.

The tariffs will be applied to more than 1,000 Chinese products, including consumer goods like electronics, bicycles, tires, and furniture - all pumped out of Chinese factories in vast quantities for cheap export.

At the same time, the administration said it remains open to negotiations with China.

The commerce ministry said the new tariffs "bring new uncertainty to the consultations between the two sides".

The two countries are fighting over Beijing's ambitions to supplant American technological supremacy. "China will adopt countermeasures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order".

The US Trade Representative's office eliminated 297 product categories from the proposed tariff list, along with some subsets of other categories.

US President Donald Trump continues to pursue an aggressive economic policy towards Asian powerhouse China. But a year ago, we lost $375 billion in deficits, and we had, in my opinion, way over $500 billion in cash.

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Fresh trade talks had been proposed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to begin around September 20. But Trump quickly backed away from the truce.

By expanding the list to US$200 billion (NZ$304 billion) of Chinese imports, Trump risks spreading the pain to ordinary households. "We must strive for American ownership of American companies in China".

FOX Business' Edward Lawrence reports on the exemptions included in the latest round of tariffs.

"China never said it doesn't want to negotiate with the US", Yang Weimin, a former senior economic and foreign policy adviser to President Xi Jinping, said Sunday, as cited by the Wall Street Journal. But many analysts say his combative actions seem unlikely to succeed.

"We stand ready to negotiate with China anytime, if they are willing to engage in serious talks", Kudlow said at the Economic Club of NY.

Mr Trump told China any retaliatory act against USA farmers or industry will trigger "phase three".

Still, he said, the U.S. economy appears strong enough to withstand the damage.

Multiple media reports in recent days cite officials saying Trump had chose to press ahead with tariffs on $200 billion in goods as soon as Monday. "Fortunately, the United States economy is humming, so we don't have to worry as much about what this will do to our economy".

Geng said he would not comment on "hypotheticals" such as what measures Beijing might consider apart from tariffs on US products, saying only that details would be released at the appropriate time.

Trump's latest escalation of tariffs on China comes after several rounds of talks yielded no progress. Some companies are looking to move out of China to dodge the tariffs, said Ted Murphy, a partner at the Baker McKenzie law firm.

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