Trump imposes tariffs on $200B more of Chinese goods

Daniel Fowler
September 18, 2018

China has accused the United States of starting the "largest trade war in economic history", and has again vowed to retaliate with duties on $60 billion in USA goods, but since the country only imports $130 billion in U.S. goods, its ability to hit back with matching tariffs is now limited.

"Negotiated settlement, instead of tariffs, represents the best pathway to resolving outstanding trade issues without creating uncertainty and instability that will negatively impact our port", Sanfield said.

Turkey has in turn hiked tariffs on imports of several USA products such as rice, alcohol, leaf tobacco, cosmetics and cars.

Beijing has vowed to retaliate on a range of United States products valued at around $60 billion.

The tariffs will start at 10 percent, beginning Monday of next week, and then rise to 25 percent on January 1.

Sohn said he thinks that China will retaliate against every USA tariff and that the back-and-forth sparring will escalate until the U.S.is taxing all Chinese imports - $524 billion a year ago. "But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices", including theft and force transfer of technology.

Trump also warned that if China takes retaliatory action against U.S. farmers or industries, "we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267bn of additional imports".

In Beijing, China's commerce ministry was unusually silent in the hours after the USA tariff announcement, as China's vice premier Liu He reportedly held a meeting to decide on Beijing's response.

Analysts have warned that a full-scale trade war between the two could cause setbacks for global markets.

In 2002, President George W. Bush imposed tariffs on Chinese steel.

Yes, it has. In fact, this latest round marks the third set of tariffs put into motion so far this year. The White House apparently doesn't even have an organized process or infrastructure for carrying out negotiations with the Chinese, or even for communicating demands.

The US had already imposed 25% tariffs on $50bn (£38bn) in Chinese imports. He also threatened to go after all Chinese goods.

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The new taxes will hit a broad swath of products, including billions in Chinese-made voice data receivers, computer memory modules, automatic data processors, and accessories for office equipment such as copiers and bank note dispensers - instantly making widely used goods more expensive.

That means regular households may start to feel the impact from higher prices.

"This is not an effort to constrain China, but this is an effort to work with China and say, 'It's time you address these unfair trade practices that we've identified that others have identified and that have harmed the entire trading system, '" the official said.

United States industries have generally opposed tariffs, arguing they increase prices for consumers and could hurt economic growth.

What items have been targeted?

But many everyday items such as suitcases, handbags, toilet paper and wool are included in this latest round of tariffs.

According to Reuters, smart watches from Apple and Fitbit, as well as some consumer safety products, such as bicycle helmets and baby vehicle seats, are exempt from the new tariffs.

It has signalled it might target products manufactured in China that are critical to the supply chains of U.S. technology and manufacturing companies; products relatively low in value but not easily or readily available elsewhere.

Why is the United States doing this?

It is that simplistic (some might say ignorant) view of trade that has led the USA into trade confrontations with China, with its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico, with South Korea and with Europe.

"Our counter-parties have not reduced tariffs and other barriers while we have kept a very open market and continued liberalizing".

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