Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Concerns in US, Asia over fresh round of tariffs

Concerns in US, Asia over fresh round of tariffs

President Donald Trump said Friday he's poised to slap additional tariffs on $267 billion in Chinese goods, widening a trade war between the two countries.

Mr Trump told reporters traveling with him to Fargo, North Dakota that "behind that, there's another US$267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want".

"That totally changes the equation", Mr Trump said.

The Trump administration has already slapped duties on US$50 billion of Chinese exports since July, which spurred immediate in-kind retaliation from Beijing.

The United States has demanded that China better protect American intellectual property, cut its US trade surplus, allow USA companies greater access to its markets and roll back its high-technology industrial subsidy programs.

The public comment period on $200 billion of tariffs ended Thursday.

In a joint letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday, 152 trade associations representing farmers and agribusinesses, retailers and others wrote: "Continuing the tit-for-tat tariff escalation with China only serves to expand the harm to more US economic interests, including farmers, families, businesses and workers".

For the Trump administration, Friday began with sunny signs for the labor market before Trump's hawkish trade-war rhetoric clouded the outlook. China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against USA companies operating there.

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His comments, which contradicted the more diplomatic remarks earlier Friday from his top economic adviser, sent the stock market plunging amid fears of the economic damage that could result from the multi-front trade war he pursues.

"China, right now, is a far bigger problem", Trump said. And China has vowed to hit $60 billion in U.S. products in retaliation.

That list includes some consumer products, like cameras, luggage and tires and they'd be subject to tariffs of 10-25 percent.

Trump's threatened tariffs, now totalling $517 billion in Chinese goods, would exceed the $505 billion in goods imported from China previous year.

The Nasdaq 100 Index capped its worst week since March as Apple slumped on its warning that the Trump administration's musing over levying virtually everything imported from China would hit a broad range of its products.

If the president followed through with all his proposed tariffs, essentially every good being imported from China would be taxed. "We want lower (trade) barriers across the board", Kudlow said.

"We are still talking with China on a number of issues". "(Our) asks have not been satisfied", he said.

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