Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

U.S. tariffs on China: Trump administration adds $16 billion

U.S. tariffs on China: Trump administration adds $16 billion

Beijing has announced plans to retaliate immediately against the latest round of United States tariffs on Chinese imports by slapping a wide range of American products, worth $16 billion, with a 25 percent levy.

Last month, the USA imposed duties of 25% on Chinese imports worth $34bn.

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.

All the same, China's exports for July rose a bigger than expected 12.2 percent year-on-year, showing little tariff impact for now and beating June's 11.2 percent rise and analysts expectations in a Reuters poll for 10 percent growth.

China's announcement is a direct response to new duties on Chinese goods imported into the United States, announced Tuesday in Washington.

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.

"With each successive round of tariffs, Trump continues to back China into a corner, forcing Beijing to respond in kind", said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of worldwide law firm Perkins Coie and a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

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The measure comes shortly after Washington released the latest list of Chinese goods worth $16 billion that are set to face a 25 percent tariff.

A first tranche, on $34bn worth of goods, went into effect in July.

Economists warn that a prolonged trade war between China and the U.S. could end up increasing prices for American consumers and hurting United States businesses.

The Chinese counter-move will take effect immediately after the U.S. imposes tariffs on the same amount of Chinese goods on 23 August. So far, despite the rhetoric, only $37bn worth of imports into China and the United States have actually been affected.

All China's main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled "declaration", on their front pages.

"Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems".

John Neuffer, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said: "We have made the case to the administration, in the strongest possible terms, that tariffs imposed on semiconductors imported from China will hurt America's..."

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