US proposes tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese imports

11 July, 2018, 08:06 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • China urges domestic firms to boost non American imports as trade war with US escalates

American experts have been quick to slam the President's new rules and accused him of "punishing" ordinary American people.

"The Trump administration is gambling that by wielding such a big club, it will force China to back down", said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr Lighthizer said the products targeted by the tariffs are those that benefit from China's industrial policy and forced technology transfer.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, responded to Lighthizer's announcement with dismay. "The proposed modification is to maintain the original $34 billion action and the proposed $16 billion action, and to take further action in the form of an additional 10 percent ad valorem duty on products of China with an annual trade value of approximately $200 billion", read the document published by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The move comes just days after the United States and China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs of $34bn on the other countries' goods.

Beijing has vowed to respond in kind to any US trade action. "We believe the USA measures interfere with economic globalization and damage the world economic order". Beijing immediately retaliated with similar duties on USA exports.

To argue their case against tariffs, consumer companies' playbook has included pointing to higher costs for everyday goods, while laying the blame at the president's feet - the American Apparel and Footwear Association has dubbed the tariffs the "Trump tax".

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The U.S. complains that China uses predatory practices, including outright cybertheft, in a push to challenge American technological dominance.

Lighthizer's office plans four days of public hearings on the trade actions starting August 20.

Some companies had successfully lobbied to get their products excluded from an earlier list of U.S. tariffs.

"Trump's escalation of trade hostilities makes it increasingly hard to envision an exit path from an all-out trade war". Chinese tactics, the administration said, include outright cybertheft and forcing USA companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market. "This new round of proposed tariffs takes the fight onto yet another level from which it is going to be hard for either side to make a graceful retreat", said Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund's China division.

"We expect this will have a meaningful impact on US consumer inflation as well as a meaningful drag on US GDP growth", he said in an interview, citing the Chinese government's pledge to retaliate against new US duties. China has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar to any further US tariffs.

The latest salvo is part of Mr. Trump's multifront trade war, which has seen Washington take on its rivals and allies alike in a bid to fulfill the President's promise of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

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