Thursday, 20 September, 2018

U.S. unveils $200 billion list of China imports for tariffs

Workers assembling smartphones in Guang'an Sichuan Workers assembling smartphones in Guang'an Sichuan
Orlando Vargas | 12 July, 2018, 16:43

US President Donald Trump has said he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of US imports from China a year ago. It said, "the Chinese government will be forced to impose necessary countermeasures" to protect its "core interests".

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said this week its member companies are rearranging their trade shipments to ensure any bound for the United States don't pass through China.

"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology", Trump said in June.

But the USA action drew a swift reaction from the plastics and petrochemical industries, with the head of the Plastics Industry Association saying the tariffs would "boomerang" and hurt manufacturing.

China has become a key trade partner for US energy exports, and potential tariffs on USA energy goods could hurt US producers and industries.

The latest news on the trade front came after Washington slapped 25% tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports last week, a move against which China immediately retaliated with matching tariffs on the same amount of us exports to China. This has raised concerns that China could retaliate with non-tariff trade measures.

"It's already clear that this well-intentioned policy will actually make the United States less competitive, undermine this administration's vision of energy dominance and the manufacturing renaissance, and nearly certainly destroy many more jobs than it protects".

If China responds with tariffs on energy, this could cut sales of US energy goods, analysts and executives told Reuters last month, when Beijing first threatened to slap tariffs on usa energy.

The United States announced Tuesday, they were considering 10 per cent tariffs on a long list of Chinese goods totalling $200-billion, including fish and apples.

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'Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach, ' Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch said.

Propaganda authorities have also issued unusually strict rules limiting local media coverage of the trade war because of worries that unrestrained reporting could set off panic and roil its already jittery financial markets, sources within Chinese state media have said.

The additional 6,031 product lines would be hit with a 10 percent tariff.

"The Chinese side is shocked by the actions of the USA", it said in a statement, according to a translation by Google.

As with previous rounds of tariffs, the new list takes special aim at "Made in China 2025" products.

Shares of NXP Semiconductors NXPI fell roughly 4 percent Wednesday after the report. Only about 1% of the items on the list were consumer goods.

"This may get Chinese companies to increase direct exports to South Africa and result in lower prices for Chinese products locally", said Roodt.

"This is going to drag on until they can all come to the table and agree to even the playing field".

President Donald Trump has threatened to tax as much as $US550 billion in Chinese products - an amount that exceeds America's total imports from China a year ago. "Tariffs threaten to boomerang on the very workers they're supposed to help, and will only further undermine the confidence manufacturers need to make investments in new equipment, facilities and people". That would leave China only US$80 billion for further retaliation.

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