Trump administration announces $22b in fresh tariffs on China

Eileen GuzmanAug 10, 2018

"This is a very unreasonable practice", the Chinese commerce ministry said on its website.

Sales to the U.S. rose by 13.3%, while China's surplus with the States shrank marginally to $28.1bn (£21.7bn) last month from a record $29bn (£22.4bn) in June.

President Trump had repeatedly expressed discontent over the USA trade deficit with China, accusing the country of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, and of providing state aid to Chinese firms.

In May, Chinese importers trying to beat Beijing's looming counter-tariffs led to a surge in U.S. exports of crude oil and soybeans, temporarily driving down the trade deficit and helping boost GDP growth in the April-June period to 4.1 percent.

China on Wednesday said it would impose tariffs on an additional $16 billion in us autos and energy products, retaliating for the Trump administration's latest import levies on an equivalent value of Chinese goods. Hay is our number two export to China at just over $100 million a year. They will take effect on August 23.

July figures showed the US' trade deficit with China decrease only slightly. Washington farmers export more sweet cherries to China than any other country.

The worry is that the escalating Sino-U.S. trade war, rising corporate bankruptcies, and a steep decline in the value of the yuan versus the dollar could put a significant dent on the economy.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, which pundits believe is likely to slow down in the second half of the year, as fiscal stimulus fades and the Federal Reserve further increases interest rates. Its imports from the USA rose 11.8 percent in the same period.

May 19: After a meeting, the two countriesannounce the outline of a trade dealto avoid the tariffs.

The decision follows Washington's announcement Tuesday that it will implement levies on $16 billion of Chinese products starting from the same date.

For January-July, the surplus with the US rose to $161.63 billion, compared with about $142.75 billion in the same period previous year.

The tit-for-tat protectionist measures are poised to surge even higher, with the U.S. reviewing 10 per cent duties on a further US$200 billion in Chinese imports that it may even raise to 25 per cent after a comment period ends on Sept 6.

Washington has so far lined up an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports and last week Trump said he could raise tariffs on those products to 25 percent instead of the previously touted 10 percent. Customs will begin collecting the duties on 279 product lines, down from 284 items on the initial list, as of 23 August, the US Trade Representative's Office said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

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