Trump OKs Plan to Impose Tariffs on Billions in Chinese Goods

Trump OKs Plan to Impose Tariffs on Billions in Chinese Goods

The seemingly endless trade standoff between the US and China looks set to continue as US President Donald Trump has given approval on tariffs on Chinese goods amounting to over $50 billion.

The president will also unveil a slightly altered list of goods that will be impacted by tariffs, with Reuters reporting that it will be smaller than the initial list, first proposed back at the start of April. "That is why I am calling on President Trump to fight for American jobs with a comprehensive strategy that puts American economic interests front and centre", she said.

The 25 percent tariffs will target products that contain "industrially significant technologies" in an effort to combat China's alleged theft of US intellectual property.

Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies have been steadily escalating over recent months as Trump began tariff fights with long-standing United States allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union over steel and aluminum production.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday morning that his country would "respond quickly" to any moves by the US.

Beijing and Washington have held three rounds of high-level talks since early May that have yet to yield a compromise, with Mr Trump unmoved by a Chinese offer to buy an additional US$70 billion worth of USA farm and energy products and other goods, people familiar with the matter have said.

The trade tensions - simmering ever since Trump became president - appear set to escalate at an inopportune time for China's economy.

China said it would retaliate against the tariffs.

"My great friendship with President Xi of China and our country's relationship with China are both very important to me", President Donald Trump said in a statement on Friday.

The U.S. trade deficit with China was $336 billion in 2017.

Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful that they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump's watch and undermine the benefits of the tax cuts he signed into law past year.

But Steve Bannon, Trump's former White House and campaign adviser, said the crackdown on China's trade practices was 'the central part of Trump's economic nationalist message'.

"If you end up with a tariff battle, you will end up with price inflation, and you could end up with consumer debt".

Spain's newly appointed agricultural minister, Luis Planas, also opposed the tariff's impact, saying it was unjust.

The Trump administration is preparing to release a refined list of Chinese products to be hit with tariffs that hones in on technologies where China wants to establish itself as a leader, according to five people familiar with the matter.

Trump also was bullish at and after the recent G7 meetings when he, alongside National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, refused to budge on their financial and trade policies.

China specifically stated that it will impose a 25% tariff on imports of USA soybeans, a tax that could be devastating to growers of the number one US agricultural export, with sales to China past year totaling $14 billion, if the USA imposes tariffs.

The trade representative office has held public hearings on the list of 1,300 categories of products to see whether duties on any of the goods would unduly harm USA consumers and businesses. China has targeted $50 billion in United States products for potential retaliation.

So far, the US has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

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