Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

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

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

The announcement was a response to China's decision to impose 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion of American goods last Friday in response to a similar USA levy.

Goods to be targeted range from chemicals and construction materials to fabric and buttons to handbags and food products to boats and air conditioners - a sweeping inventory that would inflict economic pain across China's manufacturing sector while jacking up prices for USA businesses and consumers.

As well, the American Chemistry Council urged President Donald Trump to "bring an end to this unnecessary trade war".

While the first round of US tariffs focused on Chinese industrial products, which have less of a direct impact on American consumers, the most recent list of tariffs includes fish, apples, and furniture.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative proposed 10 percent tariffs on Tuesday on a list of 6,031 Chinese product lines ranging from burglar alarms to mackerel. Tit-for-tat tariffs already are raising the cost of some goods, such as washing machines, while industry groups warn of potential price hikes for cars, electronics and other items.

Trump has been receiving support for regulation of US businesses as well as domestic tax cuts from the US Chamber of Commerce but soon after Tuesday's announcement a Chamber spokeswoman states, "Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple".

Investors have been particularly anxious that the trade row could harm an already slowing Chinese economy in a blow to global investment and growth.

"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology", Trump said in June.

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The Trump administration is preparing another round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion, ramping up the US-China trade war.

The tariffs, which wouldn't come into effect for at least two months, cover a variety of Chinese goods, including tuna, salmon and other fish, luggage, tires, dog leashes, handbags, baseball gloves, furniture, apparel and mattresses.

The previous round of tariffs: The Trump administration last week imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 million in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to impose retaliatory tariffs of the same amount on USA imports.

In financial markets, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.5 per cent, while the main indexes in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell more than 2 per cent.

China has, in recent years, become a key export market for growing USA energy exports. However, analysts say there's little chance China will back down on the plan, which it considers crucial for developing its huge economy. This week, Trump threatened to impose an additional $200 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese-made products.

The list of big decliners included exporters to China, such as Caterpillar, which fell 3.2 per cent, Boeing, down 1.9 per cent and Deere & Company, down 2.2 per cent.

"The Chinese government as always will have no choice but to take the necessary countermeasures", said China's ministry of commerce in a statement, without elaborating further.

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