Trump to un­veil re­vised tar­iff list tar­get­ing $50-bil­lion in Chi­nese goods

The Globe and Mail (BC Edition) - - REPORT ON BUSINESS - DAVID LAWDER BEIJING MICHAEL MARTINA WASH­ING­TON

China urged the United States on Thursday to make a “wise choice” on trade, say­ing it was ready to re­spond in case Wash­ing­ton chose con­fronta­tion, as U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump pre­pares to de­cide whether to im­pose tar­iffs on Chi­nese goods.

Mr. Trump is due to un­veil re­vi­sions to his ini­tial tar­iff list tar­get­ing US$50-bil­lion of Chi­nese goods on Friday. Peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the re­vi­sions said the list would be slightly smaller than the orig­i­nal, with some goods re­moved and oth­ers added, par­tic­u­larly in the tech­nol­ogy sec­tor.

An­other ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said a draft doc­u­ment showed the new list would still be close to US$50-bil­lion, with about 1,300 prod­uct cat­e­gories, but both the dol­lar amount and quan­tity of prod­ucts were still sub­ject to change.

Speak­ing to re­porters in Beijing, with U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo at his side, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment’s top diplo­mat, State Coun­cil­lor Wang Yi, said there were two choices when it came to the trade is­sue.

“The first choice is co-oper­a­tion and mu­tual ben­e­fit. The other choice is con­fronta­tion and mu­tual loss. China chooses the first,” Mr. Wang said. “We hope the U.S. side can also make the same wise choice. Of course, we have also made prepa­ra­tions to re­spond to the sec­ond kind of choice.”

It re­mains un­clear when Mr. Trump would ac­ti­vate the tar­iffs, if he de­cides to do so. Sev­eral in­dus­try lob­by­ists told Reuters they ex­pected the move to come as early as Friday, with pub­li­ca­tion of a Fed­eral Reg­is­ter no­tice, or it could be put off un­til next week.

Un­der the 1974 trade law that Mr. Trump in­voked to pur­sue a tar­iff in­ves­ti­ga­tion into China’s in­tel­lec­tual-prop­erty prac­tices, he could de­lay the ac­ti­va­tion by 30 days. He can also de­lay the tar­iffs by 180 days if the U.S. trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s of­fice finds ne­go­ti­a­tions with China are yield­ing progress.

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