Trump read­ies tar­iffs on $200b more Chi­nese goods

Iran Daily - - International -

US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has di­rected aides to pro­ceed with tar­iffs on about another $200 bil­lion of Chi­nese goods, de­spite Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin’s at­tempts to restart trade talks with China, a source fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said on Fri­day.

The tim­ing for ac­ti­vat­ing the ad­di­tional tar­iffs was un­clear, Reuters re­ported.

The green light for the tar­iffs, first re­ported by Bloomberg, ini­tially dragged US stocks lower, fu­eled drops in the Chi­nese yuan in off­shore trad­ing CNH=EBS and gains in the dol­lar in­dex .DXY.

Trump, who had al­ready im­posed 25 per­cent tar­iffs on $50 bil­lion of Chi­nese goods, said a week ago that he would be adding tar­iffs on another $200 bil­lion in goods and had tar­iffs on another $267 bil­lion in Chi­nese im­ports “ready to go on short no­tice if I want.”

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has de­manded that China cut its $375 bil­lion trade sur­plus with the United States, end poli­cies aimed at ac­quir­ing US tech­nolo­gies and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty and roll back high­tech in­dus­trial sub­si­dies.

The White House said in a state­ment that Trump had been clear that he and his ad­min­is­tra­tion would con­tinue to take ac­tion to ad­dress China’s trade prac­tices and en­cour­aged Bei­jing to ad­dress US con­cerns.

A pub­lic com­ment pe­riod ended last week for the $200 bil­lion tar­iff list, which in­cluded var­i­ous in­ter­net tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts and other elec­tron­ics, printed cir­cuit boards, and con­sumer goods rang­ing from hand­bags to bi­cy­cles and fur­ni­ture.

The US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s of­fice has said it was work­ing to re­vise the list based on is­sues raised in pub­lic hear­ings and writ­ten sub­mis­sions. In pre­vi­ous rounds of anti-china tar­iffs, it has taken one to two weeks to make list re­vi­sions and another two to three weeks to be­gin col­lect­ing tar­iffs.

The de­ci­sion comes de­spite a Trea­sury in­vi­ta­tion ear­lier this week to se­nior Chi­nese of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Vice Premier Liu He, for more talks to try to re­solve trade dif­fer­ences be­tween the world’s two largest economies.

China’s for­eign min­istry said it wel­comed the in­vi­ta­tion, but Trump later raised ques­tions about it, say­ing on Twit­ter that he was un­der no pres­sure to make a deal with Bei­jing and that the United States “will soon be tak­ing in Bil­lions in Tar­iffs & mak­ing prod­ucts at home. If we meet, we meet?”

A Trea­sury spokesman did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a query on the sta­tus of the China talks in­vi­ta­tion. A USTR spokesman did not re­spond to queries about the tar­iffs.

The du­ties al­ready levied on $50 bil­lion worth of Chi­nese goods fol­lowed a study on China’s in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty prac­tices re­leased ear­lier this year.

Adding in the $200 bil­lion list and another $267 bil­lion of Chi­nese goods, to­tal im­ports from China fac­ing tar­iffs would ex­ceed the $505 bil­lion in goods that the United States im­ported from China last year. But 2018 im­ports from China through July were up nearly 9 per­cent over the same pe­riod of 2017, ac­cord­ing to US Cen­sus Bureau data.


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