Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

Trump going ahead with taxes on $16B in Chinese imports

Trump going ahead with taxes on $16B in Chinese imports

On Tuesday, the Trump administration said it would begin collecting previously announced 25% tariffs on an additional $16bn of Chinese goods from 23 August.

Washington had already imposed tariffs on United States dollars 34 billion on July 6 but held off on a final USD 16 billion in goods as a result of concerns from U.S. companies.

China has already retaliated with duties of its own, and has pledged to match the United States dollar for dollar with new tariffs. That was in response to the latest United States threat to slap duties on US$200 billion of Chinese goods, and to raise those tariffs from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

Representatives for the White House, the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

The Trump administration has proposed 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports - which ACC estimated includes $16.4 billion in chemicals and plastics. Big-ticket US items that are still not on any list are crude oil and large aircraft.

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USTR is conducting a public comment period for those tariffs, which could reach 25 percent, due to end September 5.

Falling within a list of $16 billion worth of traded items, the USTR pushed live its finalised tariff list on Tuesday, having tentatively published a 284 category proposal back in June. Because "Texas is on the front line of the dispute", he said, with energy companies being squeezed by tariffs on all sides.

"Whether you're a farmer, a fisherman, or a factory worker one thing is clear - tariffs are counterproductive for long-term U.S. economic success", Myron Brilliant, vice president for global affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. "We have been very clear about the specific changes China should undertake".

But China exports far more to the United States than the other way round, making it more challenging for the country to hit back against USA tariffs. That's soon enough to be used by Trump as a rallying argument, but late enough so that adverse effects will not occur before January 2019.

"In general, the performance of China's retail sector was rather sluggish in July", it said, noting that a 6.5 per cent rise in cosmetics sales was the one bright spot. But it was 11 percent higher than in the same month previous year.

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