U.S. to impose $16 billion import tariffs on China

Daniel Fowler
August 9, 2018

Representatives for the White House, the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

The dispute has continued to escalate, as Trump last week threatened to jack up the tariff rate on the next $200 billion in Chinese imports his administration plans to target to 25 percent, from the planned 10 percent.

The US had already levied 25 per cent duties on US$34 billion in Chinese goods on July 6, prompting swift in-kind retaliation from Beijing. So far, the USA and China have used a tit-for-tat strategy that has involved answering one country's increased tariffs with the other country boosting the amount too.

"This is a very unreasonable practice", the Chinese commerce ministry said of the USA action on Wednesday as it rolled out China's counter-tariffs. Products being targeted now include crude oil, cars, steel and medical equipment.

China is turning the heat up in the trade war by placing $16 billion in tariffs against a variety of American exports, including automobiles and motorcycles, according to NBC News. Washington has long criticized China's trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.

"We expect export growth to cool in the coming months, though this will primarily reflect softer global growth rather than United States tariffs, the direct impact of which will continue to be mostly offset by the renminbi's (yuan's) recent depreciation".

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Wednesday's data also revealed a more balanced trade picture, with China's imports jumping 20.9 percent to reach 1.21 trillion yuan in July.

China has responded with retaliatory tariffs of its own.

Chinese state media, reflecting the government's stance, has said China will not be cowed in the face of USA threats.

"There is no off-ramp, and Trump has given China little wiggle room to save face and come to the bargaining table", he said.

It said a combined total of $6.3bn worth of semiconductors and related products would now be hit by tariffs.

Farmers for Free Trade in the US (FFF) has said American farmers are already seeing market disruption, and that the trade disputes "could cost billions of dollars to the already-stressed food and agricultural sector in the US".

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