Trump planning 25% tariffs on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods

Trump planning 25% tariffs on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods

US President Donald Trump on Friday ignited his trade war with China, slapping tariffs on tens of billions in Chinese imports and sparking immediate retaliation from Beijing.

China has hit back at Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on $50bn (£37bn) worth of its goods by responding in kind as the tit-for-tat trade war heats up.

In announcing the US tariffs, Trump said he was fulfilling a campaign pledge to crack down on what he contends are China's unfair trade practices and its efforts to undermine USA technology and intellectual property.

The world's two largest economies are on the brink of a full-scale trade war, after China announced that it would retaliate against new United States tariffs on $50bn in Chinese imports that will go into effect within days.

The Chinese commerce ministry issued a statement condemning the Trump administration's most recent tariffs, stating its intent to match all tariffs with equal restrictions on US trade in a tit-for-tat battle over trade. "If you're a trade negotiator, in some sense, having President Trump is a great advantage because everybody knows he will impose tariffs and that gives the trade negotiator a lot of leverage", said Rod Hunter, a partner at law firm Baker McKenzie and former director of global economics at the White House National Security Council under President George W. Bush.

Citing what he described as unfair trading practices and China's "theft of intellectual property", Trump threatened on Friday to take tougher measure if Beijing retaliated with trade barriers of its own.

The Trump administration on Friday announced plans to impose 25% tariffs on Chinese products starting July 6, to which the Chinese government said it would follow through on plans to levy tariffs on a range of American farm goods including corn and soybeans.

They are part of a $50 billion list of Chinese exports targeted for a 25 percent tariff hike in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

The productivity and robust sales of American agricultural products leave them in the cross hairs of anyone trying to gain leverage against the U.S.

Trump no longer believes that Beijing's influence over North Korea is a compelling reason to ease up on trade talks now that his administration has opened up a direct line of communication with the nuclear-armed country, the first administration official said. This includes stepped-up USA "freedom of navigation" maneuvers in the South China Sea, sending United States naval vessels through waters claimed by China, and sales of arms to governments with longstanding conflicts with Beijing.

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China April 24, 2018.

The Des Moines Register is warning Iowa residents that newly announced tariffs from the Trump administration could cost farmers in the state as much as $624 million, blasting out the headline on the newspaper's front page Saturday.

He has previously put tariffs on washing machines, solar products, steel and aluminum - that the USA imports from different parts of the world.

"A trade war can be anything from a minor skirmish to a full-blown battle, with lots of collateral damage to American workers, farmers and consumers", said Michael Smart, managing director at Rock Creek Global Advisors in Washington and a former worldwide trade director on the National Security Council.

USA tariffs that affect more than 800 Chinese products worth $34bn in annual trade are due to come into effect on 6 July. Trump gave the go-ahead for the additional $50 billion in tariffs on Thursday afternoon, the same day he met with senior trade, economic, White House, and national security officials.

U.S. farmers are especially concerned about the impact of a trade war, since they are sure to feel the hit.

"In this trade war, it's the US who is playing the role of provocateur, while China plays defense", the Global Times piece stated.

It can take several weeks for ship-borne cargo from China to reach the United States - too late to beat the July 6 deadline.

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