Trump preparing additional tariffs on $200B in Chinese goods

Workers assembling smartphones in Guang'an Sichuan

Workers assembling smartphones in Guang'an Sichuan

The president last month asked the U.S. Trade Representative's office to identify US$200 billion of Chinese goods that could be hit with 10 percent tariffs.

The public will have a chance to comment on the list before the new tariffs - to be imposed at 10% -come into effect.

It's a massive escalation of Trump's trade war with China. On Friday, the USA slapped 25 percent taxes on $34 billion in Chinese imports, majority are industrial goods that the Trump administration says receive subsidies or other unfair support from Beijing.

The Trump administration's 25 percent tariffs on medical equipment, electronics and other goods from China apply to exports made by USA or European companies as well as Chinese suppliers.

The United States began imposing tariffs on US$34 billion in Chinese goods at 12:01 a.m. (0401 GMT) on Friday. He is also renegotiating NAFTA, demanding that Canada and Mexico lower trade barriers for the US while allowing Washington to impose new barriers to Canadian and Mexican companies doing business in the U.S.

Beijing thus far has vowed to respond in kind to any USA trade action.

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The move drew immediate condemnation from Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, who called it "reckless" and not "targeted".

The President, who blames China and other developing countries for hollowing out the USA manufacturing sector, was elected in large part by promising to bring back factory jobs by going to war with trading partners. "There is no justification for such action", he said in a statement.

Chinese officials are expected to retaliate in other ways, hitting US firms in China with unplanned inspections, delays in approving financial transactions and other administrative headaches.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that a full-blown trade war could undermine the broadest global upswing in years. The U.S. imposed those tariffs to pressure China to stop forcing American companies to hand over trade secrets and other intellectual property to Chinese firms as a condition of doing business there.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobby group representing the largest US retailers, said: "The president has broken his promise to bring 'maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers'". The official added that China has warned the USA that future actions would be met with "economic attacks" on American markets.

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