United States sets date for additional China tariffs

United States sets date for additional China tariffs

The Trump administration says it will go ahead with imposing 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese imports.

The Trump administration ramped up the pressure for trade concessions from Beijing last week by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Beijing has retaliated with its own duties on $34bn of U.S. goods. They will take effect on August 23.

The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed that "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce".

In May, Chinese importers trying to beat Beijing's looming counter-tariffs led to a surge in USA exports of crude oil and soybeans, temporarily driving down the trade deficit and helping boost GDP growth in the April-June period to 4.1 percent.

The 25% import taxes will apply to about $16bn (£12b.3bn) worth in annual imports, covering about 280 items, including chemicals and machinery.

A US-China trade war will reduce global output by 0.7% by 2020, with China's economy taking a 1.3% hit and US GDP dropping 1%, Oxford Economics said in a research note on Tuesday, before the new list was released. But it held off on a final $16 billion as a result of concerns raised by USA companies. Washington has long criticized China's trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.

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In July the surplus with the United States was at $28.09 billion, down a touch from $28.93 billion in June, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Wednesday. An earlier round of tariffs that went into effect on July 6 applied to $34 billion in imports. There is a mandatory 60-day comment period for industries to ask for exemptions from the tariffs.

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

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

June 15: Trump rolls out thefinal list of goods subject to new tariffs.

The new tariffs, the latest in the ongoing trade spat between USA and China, target industrial supplies, chemicals, motorcycles, tractors and tractor parts, rail cars, auto parts, some iron and steel, motor and machine components and more.

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite fresh USA 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.

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