Trump ups pressure on China; demands 25% tariffs instead of 10%

Lester Mason
August 4, 2018

In response to the announcement, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Beijing was standing its ground in the trade dispute, reports CNN.

Bloomberg News reported, citing three unidentified sources, the Trump administration would propose imposing 25 percent tariffs on a $200 billion list of Chinese goods targeted in a new round of penalties, up from the planned 10 percent.

"The Trump Administration continues to urge China to stop its unfair practices, open its market and engage in true market competition", Lighthizer said Wednesday, adding that, "Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against USA workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

Mickey Kantor, who was USA trade representative under President Bill Clinton, warned that a trade war with China will take a toll on a US healthy economy that from April through June registered the fastest growth since 2014.

Trump has ultimately threatened tariffs on more than $500 billion in Chinese goods, covering virtually all USA imports from China.

"We hope that the trade policy makers in the United States will be cool-headed and listen to the voice of U.S. consumers. and also pay attention to the voice in the global community", Wang said.

China on Friday announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft and warned of further measures, signalling that it won't back down in a protracted trade war with Washington.

The White House had imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from the EU, drawing retaliatory levies on USA motorcycles, jeans and whiskey while prompting threats of even more measures from the White House, this time targeting the mighty European automotive sector. "The 25 percent duty would be applied to the proposed list of products previously announced on July 10", he said.

China warned the United States on Thursday that upping the ante in a tit-for-tat trade war will "only serve to disappoint" the world as Washington threatened to raise the tariff rate on the next $200 billion of Chinese imports.

China's imports from the United States a year ago totalled $153.9 billion. Beijing retaliated by imposing similar charges on the same amount of USA products.

- China yet to retaliate but United States dollars remains bid, risk assets lower.

"We have been very clear about the specific changes China should undertake", he added.

Investors are becoming increasingly concerned about how the slowing Chinese economy will fare in a major trade spat with the United States.

Coal is another commodity that appears to have been unaffected by trade war concerns, with both Chinese import demand and prices rising strongly. On Friday, the Ministry of Commerce described its planned response: four different types of tariffs on $60 billion of US goods.

Whether or not the duties ultimately go into effect, the uncertainty is already creating turmoil for several businesses as they weigh their options for sourcing and production, with some scrambling to import goods before next month.

USA manufacturers have reported a broad-based upturn in business activity in recent months, while consumer confidence is close to multi-decade highs. "Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behaviour, China has illegally retaliated against United States workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

The latest flare up in global trade tensions is taking its toll on China's stock markets.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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