Trump administration publishes list of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods

12 July, 2018, 07:29 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg

"Therefore, if the U.S. escalates its tariff measures to an additional United States dollars 200 billion of products, this would mean that around half of Chinese exports of goods to the USA would face significant US punitive tariff measures", Biswas said in a note.

The $200 billion far exceeds the total value of goods China imports from the United States, which means Beijing may need to think of creative ways to respond to such USA measures.

The Chinese government, however, called it "totally unacceptable" and said it would take unspecified countermeasures.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Washington's threats were "typical bullying" and described the dispute as a "fight between unilateralism and multilateralism".

The trade war between the world's top two economies landed at the World Trade Organization on Wednesday, as the United States demanded a "reckoning" over China's membership in the body.

The list includes agricultural products, minerals and consumer goods such as handbags, among other items.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday evening unveiled a proposed list of more than 6,000 products to be hit with 10-per-cent import taxes. US officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified.

In his statement, Lighthizer claimed that the United States has specially targeted those Chinese products that "benefit from China's industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices", and China's retaliation - from Washington's perspective - was "without any worldwide legal basis or justification".

Washington on Tuesday announced it was starting the process to slap 10-percent tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese export goods as soon as September. The moves followed an initial raft of 25 percent tariffs announced Friday by the US on $34 billion in Chinese exports, which was reciprocated by China.


President Donald Trump had ordered him last month to draw up the list in the event China retaliated against a previous round of USA tariffs.

"Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", said Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch in a statement.

The US Chamber of Commerce, which had supported Mr Trump's domestic tax cuts, was less enamoured of his tariff policies.

"Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple". "Tariffs threaten to boomerang on the very workers they're supposed to help, and will only further undermine the confidence manufacturers need to make investments in new equipment, facilities and people".

"The behavior of the U.S. is hurting China, hurting the world, and hurting itself", it said.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) was quick to condemn the proposal, saying it will punish American consumers. "Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war", said Hun Quach, the head of worldwide trade policy for the group.

Investors said trade war worries may slip to the background as investors begin to focus more closely on second-quarter earnings over the coming weeks.

China has, in recent years, become a key export market for growing USA energy exports. "When they see their prices rise, they're going to be shocked", he said. That means China's imports of U.S. goods are so small that Beijing "cannot match fresh U.S. tariffs", said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report.

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