Trump to propose 25% tariff on $200B of Chinese imports

Trump to propose 25% tariff on $200B of Chinese imports

China has urged the United States to return to rationality after President Donald Trump's administration ratcheted up pressure on Beijing over trade. "Unilateral threats and pressure will only be counterproductive".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (pic) attributed the arrest of Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai to the "violation of Chinese laws", without further explanation.

The proposed higher tariff "is meant to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets", Lighthizer said Wednesday.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement it could add duties of 5, 10, 20 or 25 percent on 5,207 types of USA imports, while warning it could adopt further countermeasures at any time.

"We have been very clear about the specific changes China should undertake".

White House officials had hoped Trump's latest threat would frighten Chinese officials into negotiations, where Trump aims to secure more favorable terms for US manufacturers in one of the world's largest marketplaces. The trade gap narrowed in April and May as farmers front-loaded soybean exports to China before Beijing's retaliatory tariffs came into effect in early July.

"The Chinese had better not underestimate the determination of President Trump to follow through and seek zero tariffs and nontariff barriers", Kudlow said during an interview on Fox Business Network. On Friday, Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, warned China against pushing the president any further.

The possible change in tariff rate will alter a public comment period for the proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods ranging from Chinese tilapia fish to furniture and lighting products, extending a comment deadline to September 5 from a previously announced deadline of August 30, the officials said.

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China has already filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization about the US proposal for tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods.

But if the United States is forced to carry out its threat and actually imposes 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of additional items from China, hitting consumer goods will become inevitable. "And if the USA side takes further steps to escalate the tension, China will definitely take countermeasures".

The Chinese government did not specify what types of American products would be affected or when those tariffs would take effect.

Trump recently threatened to slap punitive tariffs on all Chinese imports, which accounted for more than $500 billion previous year.

This would not help the U.S. ease its trade imbalance with China either, he added.

In its statement, however, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said China can achieve "high-quality" economic growth despite the toll exacted by tariffs: "China always holds on to the belief that bad things can be turned into good things". On Friday, the Ministry of Commerce described its planned response: four different types of tariffs on $60 billion of US goods. "The escalating trade tensions have everyone in the industry concerned", said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero in a news release, although she also attributed high volumes to strong global economies.

The question of how exactly China will retaliate remains to be seen.

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