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United States announces tariffs on $50bn in Chinese imports

17 June 2018

The administration wants Beijing to stop forcing American companies to transfer know-how.

The president has already threatened to annul the North American Free Trade Agreement after a year of inconclusive talks with Canada and Mexico, and ordered an investigation into whether the US should impose tariffs on auto imports because he says they threaten American economic security.

Trump's revised tariff list may exclude some consumer items from an earlier proposal to focus more on goods related to Beijing's "Made in China 2025" program, according to a Eurasia Group report.

The Chinese government has already promised retaliation in equal measure against USA goods including soybeans and imports of four-wheel drive vehicles. No stranger to hosting trade mission trips from other countries, Bartek said he values the chance to meet foreign trade partners.

A spokesman for grain trader Archer Daniels Midland also said bilateral dialogue should be pursued, adding that China "continues to be an important export market for American food and agriculture".

Trade between the two countries "has been very unfair, for a very long time", Trump said, adding that "this situation is no longer sustainable".

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Starting July 6, the USA will tax the 818 products, worth $34 billion a year in imports, that remained from the original list.

A ministry statement gave no details of what USA goods would be hit by Beijing's retaliatory tariffs. When a vehicle is sent to China from the United States, there is a Tariff to be paid of 25 per cent. Tariffs on $34 billion of goods will take effect from July 6, according to Reuters.

However, Trump said in a statement that "additional tariffs" could be levied should China hit back with tit-for-tat duties on United States goods and services exports. Additional investment restrictions and export controls against China are also planned for later this month. However, ten days later, the White House abruptly announced its decision to proceed with the tariffs. Other companies say the approval process for licenses has slowed down.

"Prices will likely drop further should the tariffs be imposed", says Bill Shipley, president of the Iowa Soybean Association.

Shipping containers, including one labelled "China Shipping", are stacked at the Paul W. Conley Container Terminal in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 9, 2018.

ZTE last week agreed to pay a $1 billion fine to the US government to end a crippling supplier ban imposed after it broke an agreement to discipline executives who conspired to evade USA sanctions on Iran and North Korea. The agreement allows Washington to impose an additional $400 million fine or other penalties if ZTE violates the deal.

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"We deeply regret that the United States has disregarded the consensus it has formed and is fickle, provoking a trade war", the Chinese statement said.

It isn't clear how long the tariffs will last, or whether the USA and China might settle their trade fight quickly. -China trade war weighed on financial markets Friday.

The administration had originally proposed the tariffs in April, starting with a list of 1,333 Chinese products lines. The tariffs target mainly Chinese industrial machinery, aerospace parts and communications technology, while sparing such consumer goods as smartphones, TVs, toys and clothes that Americans purchase by the truckload from China.

The goods targeted by the levies "contain industrially significant technologies", a White House statement said.

And he warned that any retaliation by Beijing would trigger another round of tariffs on Chinese goods. But the administration has made clear that these tariffs are meant to ultimately pressure China into some type of agreement, so they might not be permanent.

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United States announces tariffs on $50bn in Chinese imports