China to slap additional tariffs on $16 billion of U.S. goods

Irving Hamilton
August 9, 2018

Trump's mission to reduce the U.S. trade deficit via the threat of tariffs has brought him into conflict with China as well as U.S. allies, roiling financial markets and raising fears of a global trade war the International Monetary Fund has warned may undermine the strongest economic upswing in years. The Trump administration already has a list of $200 billion more in tariffs against China that are under consideration. After Liu visited Washington later that month, the nations released a joint statement pledging to reduce the US trade deficit with China, among other things.

The 279 items that will be hit with tariffs at the end of August are mostly industrial goods such as tractors, plastic tubes, and measurement equipment like speedometers.

The US is also considering further tariffs on another $200bn worth of Chinese goods which could come into effect in September.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the country exported $10.2 billion in new and used passenger cars to China in 2017. Mr Trump has said he would be willing to hit all of China's imports with duties.

Still, disagreements between the two major economic powers run deeper than just the trade balance and tensions remain over market access, intellectual property, technology transfer and investment. Beijing is expected to hit $16 billion worth of United States goods with equal tariffs in response to Tuesday's move. It would likely have to impose penalties on US companies doing business in China to make up the difference. But given the lack of talks and Trump's unclear goals, the trade war doesn't appear to be close to a resolution. US President Donald Trump accused Beijing of "being vicious" on trade, stressing that Chinese measures were targeting US farmers on goal.

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Washington imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products on July 6.

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite fresh U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as Washington finalised its new tariff list in a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth. There is a mandatory 60-day comment period for industries to ask for exemptions from the tariffs.

His administration confirmed that its trade assault would soon cover more than $50 billion of products from China.

The trade balance between the two countries, which is at the center of the tariffs tussle, continued to be in favor of China.

China's final list announced on Wednesday differs from an earlier draft it published in June, which included crude oil.

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