Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

'Reckless': Trump escalates trade war with another $US200b in Chinese tariffs

'Reckless': Trump escalates trade war with another $US200b in Chinese tariffs

The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has released a list of Chinese products, running to nearly 200 pages, that will potentially be hit with a 10 per cent import tax as early as September.

The president last month asked the U.S. Trade Representative's office to identify US$200 billion of Chinese goods that could be hit with 10 percent tariffs.

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.

The consultation process for the new list will probably last about two months, including public hearings to take place from August 20 to 23, two senior administration officials said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters.

In a statement US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said these new additional tariffs are a result of "China's retaliation and failure to change its practices" after the first round of tariffs. This has raised concerns that China could retaliate with non-tariff trade measures.

US officials released a list of thousands of Chinese imports the administration wants to hit with the new tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminum.

Also Tuesday, China stepped up action against some USA goods by announcing anti-dumping duties raw materials used in making optical fibers.


Orrin Hatch, the Republican Senate Finance Chairman, condemned the move as "reckless" and not "targeted", while USA stock index futures fell in early Asian trading.

The United States had just imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday, drawing immediate retaliatory duties from Beijing on US imports in the first shots of a heated trade war.

Chinese tariffs have already taken a toll on US exports such as soybeans, which raises questions about the possible political repercussions President Trump could face from farmers who supported him in the 2016 election.

The United States complains that China uses predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour". "For over a year, the Trump Administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", Lighthizer said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has supported Mr Trump's tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, also criticised the administration's move.

Administration officials said they hoped the measures would convince the Chinese government to increase market access for U.S. companies and address allegations of the theft of intellectual property.

Beijing has called on Chinese firms to substitute American imports with those from other countries in response to United States trade tariffs.

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