Trump administration moves ahead with new round of tariffs on Chinese imports
10 August, 2018, 06:37 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
The world's top two economies have repeatedly sparred over trade in recent months, in what experts warn may become a devastating cycle of retaliation.
In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on August 23. The U.S. announced earlier this week that its own tariffs on US$16 billion of Chinese goods would start that day.
Vacationing at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, the president on Tuesday promised a dinner gathering of chief executives that the United States and China would soon have a "fantastic trading relationship". Chinese imports of goods and services into the United States a year ago amounted to almost $524 billion.
In a statement, the Chinese Commerce Ministry charged that the United States "once again put domestic law above global law by imposing "very unreasonable" new tariffs on Chinese goods".
The tariffs are aimed at industrial, rather than consumer, imports.
The Asian economic powerhouse will add the tariffs on USA imports to measure the same tax placed on their exports, CNBCsaid.
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China's 25 percent tariffs will apply to USA products such as coal, gasoline, vehicles, motorcycles and medical equipment. And Chinese regulators last month barred Qualcomm, a USA telecom leader, from completing its $44 billion acquisition of Netherlands-based NXP, which would have made it a more formidable competitor for Chinese companies.
China, on the other hand, argues that the tariffs violate World Trade Organization rules and only harm both countries. The new list covers products ranging from motorcycles to steam turbines and railway cars.
The announcement came after the Trump administration followed through with a 25% tariff on an additional $16 billion of Chinese goods Tuesday evening.
A huge headwind on the country's economic growth is the Trump administration's trade policy, said Boudreaux, warning that if it continues "as it's happening now, not only will it slow the economic growth, it might actually reverse it".
Administration officials believe that the $505 billion Americans spend on Chinese products each year gives them leverage over China. It would take a few more weeks to revise the list and make programming changes at U.S. Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting the duties.
The latest commentary from state media on Wednesday took a softer line after resorting to personal attacks against Trump earlier in the week, saying China could get through the storm but refrained from directly mentioning the USA president.
According to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Washington-fueled trade tensions with other economies have prompted nearly a fifth of U.S. businesses including about 30 percent of manufacturers to review their capital spending plans.
Nearly 300 Chinese goods face USA import taxes of 25 per cent from August 23, including tractors, motorcycles and semiconductors. All in all, China's trade surplus with the USA shrank to $28.08 billion in July against $28.97 billion in the previous month.
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