USA considering higher tariffs on US$ 200 bil. of Chinese goods

Randal Sanchez
August 4, 2018

But the president is losing his trade war based on Trump's own preferred statistic-U.S. the trade deficit-which has continued to grow both in overall terms and with respect to China specifically.

President Trump has threatened to escalate his trade war with China once again, asking the Commerce Department to consider a new 25% tariff on $200 billion in annual imports from China.

The White House is considering increasing planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent, according to unnamed sources familiar with the issue, as quoted by Bloomberg. And U.S. auto imports are under separate threat. That said, a tilt toward stocks with a domestic focus, which are somewhat insulated from worldwide trade tensions, makes sense now.

President Trump and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed last week to put their tariffs on hold while the two sides negotiate, including on the dispute over steel tariffs, which gives the USA more leverage to pressure China.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will fight back should the US further increase tariffs.

"Pressure and blackmail from the US won't work", Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a briefing in Beijing, the New York Times reported.

"This won't work on China", Geng said.

"He's going to continue to put the pressure on China". Because of the proposed increased rate, USTR will extend the comment period to September 5.

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This next wave of tariffs was originally announced in July, after China hit the USA with countermeasures in response to Trump's initial wave of tariffs. Trump and other NAFTA critics say the agreement encouraged USA manufacturers to move factories - and jobs - south of the border to take advantage of lower-wage Mexican labor. The yuan fell against a trade-weighted basket of currencies to a level that's near the lowest on record, suggesting policy makers are allowing further weakness.

The review of the higher tariff is a request from President Donald Trump, who wants China to change its trade practices. Chinese officials haven't yet commented on the prospects for resuming talks.

A spokesman for China's foreign ministry appealed to Washington to negotiate but could not confirm reports the two sides were setting up talks.

In measured and balanced responses, China made two points.

Trade officials from the world's top car-exporting nations agreed to respond if President Donald Trump slaps new USA tariffs on autos and auto parts.

The now at odds with six of its top seven export markets, accounting for more than half of American exports.

"Escalating tariffs against China is the wrong approach to address legitimate concerns U.S. businesses have with China's harmful practices", said Myron Brilliant, head of worldwide affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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