China to slap additional tariffs on $16 billion of USA goods

Dwayne Harmon
August 8, 2018

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

President Trump had repeatedly expressed discontent over the U.S. trade deficit with China, accusing the country of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, and of providing state aid to Chinese firms.

The tit-for-tat protectionist measures are poised to surge even higher, with the USA reviewing 10 percent duties on a further $200 billion in Chinese imports that it may even raise to 25 percent after a comment period ends on September 6.

The Trump administration has deepened its trade war with China by announcing a new round of tariffs worth $US16 billion ($22 billion), a move the Chinese government has warned will trigger another round of retaliatory tariffs on USA exports.

All in all, China's trade surplus with the USA shrank to $28.08 billion in July against $28.97 billion in the previous month.

China has been retaliating in kind. But it was 11% higher than in the same month a year ago.

China has repeatedly warned it will strike back, and has already begun enforcing or is getting ready to enforce its own retaliatory tariffs, saying the United States is threatening the global free trade order with its protectionism.

Although the move was expected, it solidifies the view that there appears to be no effort underway to defuse the dispute between the world's two largest economies.

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The worry is that the escalating Sino-U.S. trade war, rising corporate bankruptcies, and a steep decline in the value of the yuan versus the dollar could put a significant dent on the economy.

This latest round makes good on the president's promise in June to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion in Chinese goods.

World financial markets have taken a battering in recent months as fears grow that Trump's "America First" policies could derail a global economic revival.

"[The] trade data don't show any significant impact from the first round of United States tariffs", Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to investors.

Some U.S. industries have expressed disappointment at Tuesday's decision.

Beijing is expected to hit $16 billion worth of USA goods with equal tariffs in response to Tuesday's move.

The latest $16 billion list will hit semiconductors from China, even though numerous basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.

Announcing the new duties, the US Trade Representatives Office: "China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, US companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer".

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