USA to impose tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports

Less than a week into the trade war with China, President Trump is already thinking about levying more tariffs against goods imported from that nation to the U.S. China promised to lodge complaints at the World Trade Organization but didn't detail what its retaliatory measures would be. 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. It stems from Washington's complaint that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology and worries that plans for state-led development of Chinese champions in robots and other fields might erode American industrial leadership.

The first US tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products to help cushion the impact on American consumers.

Members of Congress are increasingly questioning Mr. Trump's aggressive trade policies, warning that tariffs on imports raise prices for consumers and expose USA farmers and manufacturers to retaliation overseas.

Soybeans were hit with a new tariff by the Chinese government last week as part of the retaliation for Trump's tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. "There is no justification for such action".

The retaliatory tariffs that China enacted Friday targeted United States cars and major agricultural goods, such as soybeans and meat.

Calling Washington's behavior irrational, Beijing warned that the United States is, in the first instance, hurting itself with protectionist measures and constant attacks on free trade.

The move is a major escalation in a brewing trade war between the world's two largest economies. The move makes good on the president's threat to respond to China's retaliation for the initial USA tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods, which went into effect on Friday and would eventually place almost half of all Chinese imports under tariffs.

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US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch described the move was "reckless".

Li said the only correct choice for China-US relations was cooperation, and that China's determination to improve the domestic business environment and its support for the multilateral trading system will not change.

On Tuesday, U.S. officials issued a list of thousands of Chinese imports the Trump administration wants to hit with the new tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminum, prompting criticism from some U.S. industry groups. Each side is mulling tariffs on a further $16 billion in goods that would bring the totals to $50 billion.

In financial markets, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.5 per cent, while the main indexes in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell more than two per cent.

"Despite the serious economic consequences of ever-increasing tariffs, today there are no serious trade discussions occurring between the US and China, no plans for trade negotiations anytime soon, and seemingly little action toward a solution", Brady said. The U-S Chamber of Commerce says the proposed measure would ultimately hurt American families.

"There is still a good six or seven weeks before these (tariffs) take effect so it is not like we are going to see these tomorrow, but it is definitely the next step in a trade war", TD Securities global strategist James Rossiter said.

US President Donald Trump has raised the stakes in the potential US-China trade war.

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