Trump Asks For $200 Billion More In Tariffs To Impose On China

Trump Asks For $200 Billion More In Tariffs To Impose On China

The Commerce Ministry on Tuesday gave no details but said Beijing is ready to "defend the interests of the Chinese people and enterprises".

Security guards walk in front of containers at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China on April 24, 2018.

President Donald Trump inched closer to an all-out trade war by unveiling plans to impose 10 per cent tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing doesn't bend to U.S. demands.

A Commerce Ministry statement criticized the US measures as "extreme pressure and blackmail".

The ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China knocked the yuan to 6.4660 per dollar, its weakest in more than five months in the offshore market. That stemmed from a U.S. Trade Representative investigation that determined Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property and forced technology transfers threatened to undermine U.S. competitiveness.

China had offered to ramp up purchases of American goods by $70 billion to help cut its yawning trade surplus with the United States, whereas Trump had demanded a $200 billion deficit cut. This is unacceptable. Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods, and accept a more balanced trade relationship with the United States.

The escalation in the dispute with China may also serve as a warning to other trading partners with whom Mr. Trump has been feuding, including Canada and the European Union.

China hit back with tariffs on $50 billion of American products, including agricultural goods.

"The US-China trade war is escalating rapidly", said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit in Singapore.

It was retaliation, Trump said, for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in US goods, which came after Trump announced similar tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday.

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He has in recent weeks chose to implement steep tariffs against China and other key USA allies, despite warnings from congressional lawmakers that doing so could harm American workers and erase gains made from the Republican tax package.

In contrast, the United States exported only about $130 billion worth of goods to China a year ago, so Beijing has far less room to raise tariffs in a way that would immediately affect trade. "It is very unfortunate that instead of eliminating these unfair trading practices, China said that it intends to impose unjustified tariffs targeting US workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

USA business groups said members were bracing for a backlash from the Chinese government that would affect all American firms in China, not just in sectors facing tariffs.

"The United States will no longer be taken advantage of on trade by China and other countries in the world", he said.

"The United States has initiated a trade war and violated market regulations, and is harming the interests of not just the people of China and the US, but of the world".

Derek Scissors, a China scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank, said that means China will soon run out of imports of USA goods on which to impose retaliatory tariffs.

"I have an excellent relationship with President Xi, and we will continue working together on many issues", Trump said.

Initially, 545 USA products valued at $34 billion will be targeted by China, mimicking the Trump administration's tariff rollout.

China's proposed retaliatory tariffs on the United States target farm goods such as soybeans, as well as chemicals, oils and seafood.

The White House says the USA can withstand trade tensions.

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