Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Finance | By Marshall Campbell

As US slaps on fresh tariffs, China fires back

As US slaps on fresh tariffs, China fires back

Chinese imports of goods and services into the United States a year ago amounted to almost $524 billion.

The US will impose a 25% tariff on another $16 billion worth of Chinese goods starting August 23, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced Tuesday.

The president remains confident that his "America First" overhaul of US trade policy is paying dividends.

After complaints by Chinese leaders, Trump agreed to reverse a USA enforcement action that would have caused ZTE, a prominent state-owned telecom company, to go out of business.

China has already retaliated with duties of its own, and has pledged to match the United States dollar-for-dollar with new tariffs, including on the next $16 billion.

This latest round makes good on the president's promise in June to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion in Chinese goods.

Among the products removed from the earlier list on $16 billion of imports were shipping containers, including those used by freight companies.

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Analysts from Oxford Economics have predicted that China's GDP growth may slow to 6.4 per cent this year, from 6.9 per cent in 2017, as the effects of the trade war weigh. So far, despite the rhetoric, only $37bn worth of imports into China and the U.S. have actually been affected.

"This is a very unreasonable practice", the Chinese commerce ministry said of the us action on Wednesday as it rolled out China's counter-tariffs.

Over the weekend, Trump said he had the upper hand in the trade war, while Beijing responded through state media by saying it was ready to endure the economic fallout.

Americans who work for worldwide auto companies demonstrate against trade tariffs they say will negatively impact US auto manufacturing, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on July 19, 2018. The new list covers products ranging from motorcycles to steam turbines and railway cars. "They are aimed at fellow Americans", the economist said.

"We'll know China is really feeling the pressure when they start stirring nationalist sentiment or calling for boycotts against USA", said Bruce Andrews, managing director of Rock Creek Global Advisors.

China deprives USA companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations. That's 24% of all Washington exports according to the Washington Department of Agriculture.

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