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China plans $60 billion tariffs on US goods in trade blitz

03 August, 2018, 21:54 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • The Trump administration had initially announced a 10 percent tariff

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday (Aug 2) tariffs will not resolve the trade imbalances that the United States says exist between the two economies and urged Washington to calm down and listen to the voice of the worldwide community.

But amid that pushback is often the key caveat that Trump might sometimes be on to something.

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Friday ridiculed China's threat of $60 billion of retaliatory tariffs as "weak" and said the world's second-largest economy was in "trouble".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated at a regular news briefing that the US' efforts at "blackmail" would fail.

Beijing has offered to narrow its politically volatile trade surplus with the United States but has resisted changing development plans its leaders see as a path to prosperity and to restoring China's rightful role as a global leader.

An all-out trade war could overshadow Trump's otherwise solid economic record of low unemployment and stimulus-fuelled growth.

The US imposed 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese goods in early July, with another US$16 billion to be targeted in coming weeks, drawing an in-kind retaliation from China. After earlier action against $34 billion of USA goods, that left about $120 billion for retaliation.

The highest penalties in Friday's list would be imposed on honey, vegetables, mushrooms and chemicals, targeting farming and mining areas that supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Sales tax holidays scrapped as school shopping begins
Some restrictions do apply - single clothing items over $75 and individual back to school supplies over $20 will be taxed. It definitely helps with traffic and sales, having the tax free, everybody likes that savings", explained Pinson.

It said retaliatory duties of 25 percent, 20 percent, 10 percent or 5 percent on 5,207 products will be imposed "if the US side persists in putting its tariff measures into effect".

Beijing's earlier round of tariffs appeared created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting soybeans, whiskey and other goods available from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers. He told trade officials this week to consider raising that to 25 percent.

Chinese authorities warned earlier that if the dispute escalated, they would adopt unspecified "comprehensive measures".

By comparison, companies in America sold £100bn ($130bn) of goods to China during the same period.

Mr Trump is aiming to reduce his country's $375.6 billion goods trade deficit - the gap between imports and exports - with China.

Washington and Beijing are locked in a battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of American technological know-how.

But Trump raised the stakes this week with his threat to raise the tariff rate.

The foreign ministry spokesman appealed to Washington to negotiate but could not confirm reports the two sides were setting up talks.

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