Trump Slaps New Tariffs on Chinese Products

China warns it has no choice but to retaliate against the latest round of US tariffs but did not specify how. — Reuters pic

Trump orders new tariffs on additional USD 200 Bn worth of Chinese imports

U.S. president Donald Trump levied a 10% tariff on roughly $200bn of imports from China today, escalating the ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The latest round of imports will face 10 percent tariffs through the end of the year, and then the rate will jump to 25 percent, giving businesses time to find new suppliers, officials said.

The Chinese government may decline to participate in proposed trade talks with the United States later this month if the Trump administration moves forward with additional tariffs on imported Chinese goods, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing Chinese officials. And China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president's supporters in the US farm belt.

China denies the allegations and has vowed to hit back with tariffs on $60bn (£45bn) in American goods.

Multiple media reports in recent days cite officials saying Trump had chose to press ahead with tariffs on $200bn in goods as soon as Monday. He demanded Canada and Mexico renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement to make it more favorable to the United States. That would raise the total affected by US penalties to $517 billion - covering almost everything China sells the United States.

Some products - such as smart watches, Bluetooth devices, bike helmets, high chairs and play pens - were exempted from the tariffs after lobbying from companies including tech giant Apple and the chemical industry.

The tough talk follows reports China is deliberately reducing exports to the USA by slowing down customs approvals and stepping up environmental and other inspections.

By brawling with America's friends, critics say, Trump has squandered an opportunity to build a united front against China. Trump urged Chinese leaders to "take swift action to end their country's unfair trade practices".

The two countries are fighting over Beijing's ambitions to supplant American technological supremacy.

The president says he's under no pressure to make a deal with China, but rather China is under pressure to make a deal with the U.S. USA 30-year yields also hit a four-month peak of 3.159 percent, while 2-year yields soared to 2.799 percent, the strongest level in 10 years. Steve Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, respectively, are scheduled to meet in Washington, DC, September 27-28. But Trump quickly backed away from the truce.

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Importers have in recent weeks sought to be spared from tariffs, with the Trump administration removing about 300 products initially included in the original tariff list released in early July. The tariffs focused on industrial products, not on things Americans buy at the mall or via Amazon.

When Cohn tried, using data and history, to argue against Trump's conviction that trade deficits with other countries made the USA the loser, the book reports Trump as saying: "I know I'm right".

Meanwhile, China imported US$13.3 billion of products from the U.S. in August, a rise of 2.3 per cent from the same month previous year, giving China a record-high trade surplus with the United States of US$31.1 billion.

While officials said the impact on the U.S. economy has been minimal, firms across the country report lost businesses, layoffs and possible bankruptcies as input costs rise and exports fall. "I think that kind of tactic is not going to work with China", Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of China's securities regulator, said at a conference in the port city of Tianjin.

A gauge of global equity markets eased and the dollar slipped on Monday as an expected new round of tariffs from Washington on Chinese goods made investors skittish about an escalation of a U.S. -Sino dispute over trade.

All three major US indexes were lower, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting its biggest percentage loss since late July.

"Such restrictions could even apply to Apple Inc.'s iPhones, which are assembled in the mainland, officials said, without elaborating", the report says. "Fortunately, the USA economy is humming, so we don't have to worry as much about what this will do to our economy".

But they object to Trump's tactics and warn the dispute could chill global economic growth and undermine worldwide trade regulation.

American firms have previously warned they are anxious about the effect of higher costs, saying they could bring job cuts. "We must strive for American ownership of American companies in China". Some will likely move to other low-priced countries that aren't in the line of fire.

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