New round of tariffs targets $200 billion of Chinese goods

New round of tariffs targets $200 billion of Chinese goods

On Friday, the USA slapped 25 percent taxes on $34 billion in Chinese imports, a lot of them are industrial goods that the Trump administration says receive subsidies or other unfair support from Beijing.

China's Commerce Ministry has said that Beijing has no choice but to fight back after the U.S. "launched the largest trade war in economic history", accusing Washington of violating the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The tariffs could take effect after public consultations end on August 30, according to a statement from the U.S. Trade Representative's office Tuesday.

Washington chose to impose the extra tariffs after efforts to negotiate a solution to the trade dispute failed to reach an agreement, senior administration officials said on Tuesday.

Trump has been considering tariffs against China since his officials concluded in March that Beijing violates US intellectual-property rights, such as by forcing American firms to hand over technology. This has raised concerns that China could retaliate with non-tariff trade measures. Trump has said he may ultimately target more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of US imports from China a year ago.

But China also faces difficulties in retaliating directly: it ships far more goods to the United States ($506 billion past year, according to U.S. figures) than come back in the opposite direction ($130 billion).

"The Chinese side is shocked by the actions of the United States", a statement on the ministry's website declared.

The Republican chairman of the U-S Senate Finance Committee says the move is reckless. They are meant to put pressure on China to stop stealing US companies' trade secrets and forcing them to hand over intellectual property to Chinese firms as a condition of doing business there.

The US is planning to implement 25 per cent tariffs on a further $US16 billion worth of Chinese imports within the next fortnight.

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"Concerns over trade and trade wars are really having an adverse effect, less so on the USA markets than the worldwide markets, but it is certainly taking a bite".

The tariffs will not be imposed until after a two-month period of public comment on the proposed list, but some United States business groups and senior lawmakers were quick to criticize the move.

"Unfortunately the markets haven't come to grips with the current levels of trade policies and tariffs", said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in NY.

Beijing described Washington's latest threat as "totally unacceptable", saying it would hurt the world.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that a full-blown trade war could undermine the broadest global upswing in years.

"Sometimes our friends, when it comes to trade, are treating us worse than the enemies", Trump said at a press conference on June 29.

Market drops started in Asia overnight, where all of China and Hong Kong's share indices lost more than 1%, and has spread to Europe as markets open here.

The dramatic move by Trump sent a shockwave through Asian markets last night, with the Shanghai Composite index dropping 2.1 per cent and the CSI300 index of major Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks tumbling 2 per cent.

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