Trump administration moves ahead with new round of tariffs on Chinese imports

Hannah Rogers
August 8, 2018

The Trump administration announced today that it would impose 25 per cent tariffs on imports of 279 items from China amounting to United States dollars 16 billion.

The two sides have shown no signs of letting up, with the US earlier Wednesday saying it will begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on August 23, and Chinese media resorting to personal attacks against Trump earlier in the week.

The United States and China trade goods and services worth about $650 billion each year, the largest trading relationship in the world between two countries. This is the second tranche of such tariffs and comes into effect on August 23.

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute over Washington's charges that China uses predatory tactics in a drive to supplant USA technological supremacy.

Mr. Trump has continued to portray tariffs on foreign imports as good for the country, even as many Republicans and traditionally right-of-center groups preach their ills.

Last month, the U.S. imposed duties of 25% on Chinese imports worth $34bn.

"Do Business With Iran Or United States": Donald Trump Warns Countries
A second wave of sanctions that will more directly target Iran's petroleum industry is set to go into effect in 90 days. The last time Iran was sanctioned, it lost half of its exports, which have now returned to 2.4 million barrels per day.

China has repeatedly warned it will strike back, and has already begun enforcing or is getting ready to enforce its own retaliatory tariffs, saying the United States is threatening the global free trade order with its protectionism.

After Liu visited Washington later that month, the nations released a joint statement pledging to reduce the US trade deficit with China, among other things.

The Trump administration has accused China of unfair trade practices, and President Donald Trump has long vowed to bring down the United States' trade deficit in goods with Beijing.

The latest commentary from state media on Wednesday took a softer line after resorting to personal attacks against Trump earlier in the week, saying China could get through the storm but refrained from directly mentioning the US President. So far, despite the rhetoric, only $37bn worth of imports into China and the U.S. have actually been affected.

Americans import far more from China than the other way around, however, meaning Beijing may at some point need to look for other means of retaliation.

John Neuffer, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said: "We have made the case to the administration, in the strongest possible terms, that tariffs imposed on semiconductors imported from China will hurt America's..."

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