Trump administration announces $22b in fresh tariffs on China

Trump administration announces $22b in fresh tariffs on China

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

Bags of chemicals being unloaded at a port in Zhangjiagang in China's eastern Jiangsu province on August 7, 2018. "The risk is that the U.S. administration's gamble to strong-arm China into giving into all U.S. demands without some compromise only leads to successive rounds of higher and higher tariffs".

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 US had already levied 25 percent duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods on July 6, prompting swift in-kind retaliation from Beijing.

Still, disagreements between the two major economic powers run deeper than just the trade balance and tensions remain over market access, intellectual property, technology transfer and investment.

In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25 per cent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on August 23. Year-on-year, the growth of China's exports to the U.S. slowed to 11 percent last month from 12.5 percent in June, while import growth accelerated to 11 percent from 9 percent.

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.

The United States has stepped up its trade war with China... by announcing a new round of tariffs. Its imports from the USA rose 11.8 percent in the same period.

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.

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.

While trade tensions are being ratcheting up, China's trade surplus with the USA stood at US$28.1 billion in July, close to the record-high in June, data released Wednesday showed.

For January-July, the surplus with the US rose to $161.63 billion, compared with about $142.75 billion in the same period past year.

In July, the administration imposed 25% tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports.

Trump has threatened to levy a 25% tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to the USA - a move that would blow open the disagreement between the countries. Last year, China imported about $130 billion of US goods.

China's Commerce Ministry called the US decision to place the latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods "unreasonable", and said it chose to take counter measures, matching the tariffs in percentage and value.

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