Trump eyes tariffs on further $60 billion Chinese goods in tech sector

Erika Holt
March 15, 2018

"The developments support our outlook or a weaker USA dollar this year", MUFG analyst Lee Hardman said, referring to events within the Trump administration and the trade fears. Trade experts have said tariffs imposed as a result of the China intellectual property probe may fall outside of WTO rules. A source told Reuters that the tariffs could come "in the very near future" and could include up to 100 products, also outside of the tech sector.

Equity markets were attempting to recover after Tuesday's hefty losses, heartened by robust Chinese factory data, but struggled to overcome the fear of a global trade war as well as the prospect of political uncertainty in the US.

And, he added, instead of threatening a trade war, Trump should restart the trans-Atlantic free trade negotiations between the USA and the European Union which began under former president Barack Obama but were never finished.

Washington is targeting Chinese high technology companies to punish them for China's investment policies that effectively force U.S. companies to give up their technology secrets in exchange for being allowed to operate in the country along with other allegations of intellectual property theft.

The euro slipped 0.2% against the dollar, inching off an overnight one-month high after European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi said the ECB needed more evidence that inflation was rising towards its target.

"We're not talking about fancy cashmere sweaters, we're talking about cotton T-Shirts and jeans and shoes that kids wear for back-to-school", she added.

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China runs a $375 billion trade surplus with the United States and when President Xi Xinping's top economic adviser visited Washington recently, the administration pressed him to come up with a way of reducing that number.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer proposed a package of $30 billion in tariffs but Trump instructed Lighthizer to go higher, Politico reported. Earlier this year, Trump pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

USA crude CLcv1 fell 0.36 percent to $60.49 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $64.50, down 0.22 percent on the day.

China now has a $375-billion trade surplus with the US.

Speaking to reporters in the Capitol, U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady stressed that Trump was serious about addressing the issue of intellectual property theft.

It is expected that an official statement on the introduction of fees will be made public next week.

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