US Releases $200bn List Of Chinese Products For Possible New Tariffs

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 11, 2018

President Donald Trump faced unusually blunt criticism from within his own party, as one of the U.S. House's top lawmakers urged him to restart negotiations to stop a costly trade war with China. The U.S. had said it would consider requests from some countries to be exempted from other sanctions that it plans put into effect in November that prevent Iran from exporting oil.

Some Chinese suppliers said they planned to start negotiating soon with their American buyers over how to handle the proposed tariff and who would absorb the costs of the levy.

Members of Congress are increasingly questioning Trump's aggressive trade policies, warning that tariffs on imports raise prices for consumers and expose USA farmers and manufacturers to retaliation overseas.

The Trump administration on July 6 imposed 25 per cent duties on US$34 billion in Chinese imports, the first time the president has implemented tariffs directly on Beijing after threatening to do so for months.

"The Chinese side is shocked by the actions of the United States", a statement on the ministry's website declared. China has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar to any further US tariffs.

Calling Washington's behavior irrational, Beijing warned that the U.S. is, in the first instance, hurting itself with protectionist measures and constant attacks on free trade.

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China's Commerce Ministry has said that Beijing has no choice but to fight back after the United States "launched the largest trade war in economic history", accusing Washington of violating the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Trump last week said the United States may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of USA imports from China previous year. That prompted fears Beijing might go beyond matching US import tax increases by harassing American companies in China. Each side is planning tariffs on a further $16 billion in goods that would bring the totals to $50 billion. Chinese tactics, the administration says, include outright cybertheft and forcing USA companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

The dramatic move by Trump sent a shockwave through Asian markets last night, with the Shanghai Composite index dropping 2.1 per cent and the CSI300 index of major Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks tumbling 2 per cent. "Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war", said Hun Quach, the head of worldwide trade policy for the group.

Scott Lincicome, a trade lawyer for the group Republicans Fighting Tariffs, said tariffs on $200 billion would amount to a "multibillion-dollar tax on American businesses and families" and prompt China to retaliate against American exporters.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that a full-blown trade war could undermine the broadest global upswing in years.

"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology", Trump said in June.

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