China raises tariffs on $60B of USA goods in technology fight

Lloyd Doyle
September 18, 2018

Trump, in a statement announcing the new round of tariffs, warned that if China takes retaliatory action against USA farmers or industries, "we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports".

The statement did not mention Beijing's earlier threat to add tariffs on $60 billion in United States imports if Washington imposed this new wave of levies.

USA stocks markets fell on Monday after President Trump said he would impose new levies on about $200 billion in Chinese goods.

Trump is due to make the announcement after the close of US stock markets, where major indices were already sinking sharply in anticipation of what could be a major escalation in the US-China trade conflict.

Trump kicked off his trade war with China in March, imposing higher tariffs after an investigation by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had found that China used foreign ownership restrictions to require tech transfers from U.S. to Chinese companies, as well as conducting espionage to acquire intellectual property.

While Trump says the tariffs will mean "a lot of money coming in to the coffers of the United States" they are really a tax on U.S. companies and consumers. In a White House statement, he accuses Beijing of having failed to change "numerous unfair policies and practices relating to United States technology and intellectual property - such as forcing United States companies to transfer technology to Chinese counterparts".

Collection of tariffs on the long-anticipated list will start September 24 but the rate will increase to 25 percent by the end of 2018, allowing US companies some time to adjust their supply chains to alternate countries, a senior administration official said.

The latest round of imports will face 10 percent tariffs through the end of the year, and then the rate will jump to 25 percent.

China purchased roughly $130 billion in American goods a year ago - less than a third of what the United States ordered from Chinese enterprises.

"Tariffs have put the USA in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been nearly unnoticeable", Trump said. And in a victory for Apple Inc., the administration removed smart watches and some other consumer electronics products.

An official Chinese newspaper called for more aggressive measures to "make American pain worse" following tariff hikes by both sides on $50billion of each other's goods.

And if the Trump administration enacts a further $267 billion round of tariffs, almost every Chinese import, the iPhone, along with all other smart phones, are likely to be included in the list.

Apple had warned publicly against the impact of tariffs, however, the iPhone is expected to be included next time should the Trump administration impose further duties.

But current US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will now be in charge of enforcing the Trump administration's new tariffs.

Washington's new 10 percent duty will be implemented from September 24.

In a post on its wesbsite, China's Commerce Ministry accused the US of causing an "economic emergency" in China, and forcing China to retaliate.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has refused to budge amid mounting threats from Trump, who vowed to place higher border taxes on practically everything the United States buys from China if Beijing unveils new duties, effective Monday at noon.

Its own long-term economic and strategic ambitions and its domestic political stability make it hard for China's President Xi Jinping to be seen to be intimidated into conceding to the United States actions and threats.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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