Trump sets $50B in China tariffs with Beijing ready to strike back

Jeannie Matthews
June 19, 2018

Fearing that China would turn threats into reality by imposing tariffs on US agricultural goods, soybean futures settling in July also fell 1% to a near one-year low of $9.17 Friday.

China responded swiftly, saying it has imposed "equal" tariffs on U.S. products. He has previously suggested those tariffs could apply to as much as $100 billion of products.

China responded swiftly, saying it would imposed "equal" tariffs on United States products.

Aircraft, included in the earlier Chinese list, were not on the revised list.

In one of those agreements, which was conditional on Trump not threatening new tariffs, China promised to buy $70 billion worth of US agricultural and energy products - a trade-deficit reducing deal which Trump had prematurely hailed as a victory. Among the affected $16 billion in US goods include crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

Chinese state media blamed President Donald Trump's administration for playing a "disgraceful" role in disrupting the global economic order after the world's two largest economies moved to the brink of a trade war when the USA announced tariffs on Chinese imports, prompting immediate retaliation from Beijing.

Trump's new 25 percent tariffs will target $50 billion in Chinese imports across a wide variety of industries. Beijing is also considering reciprocal measures in response. "It's like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes", replying to Trump's earlier tweet on wanting China to develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States.

"The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices", Trump said.

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As Reason has noted repeatedly, tariffs are unlikely to be an effective tool in getting China to stop infringing American intellectual property.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer described the tariffs Friday as a "defensive" action.

Another Democrat, Sen. Sherrod Brown of OH, tweeted that the tariffs are an important step to reset the trade imbalance with China.

Renewed concerns over the escalating trade row resulted in shares in Chinese telecoms gear maker ZTE Corp plunging on Friday.

Beijing and Washington have held three rounds of high-level talks since early last month that have yet to yield a compromise, with Trump unmoved by a Chinese offer to buy an additional US$70 billion of U.S. farm and energy products and other goods, people familiar with the matter have said.

Administration officials have signalled support for imposing the tariffs in a dispute over allegations that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology, according to officials.

The Chinese tariffs announcement caused the United States dollar to lose ground to the Japanese yen, the Euro, and the British pound sterling.

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