Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

China to put 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of U.S. products

Jay Anderson | 08 August, 2018, 18:27

The latest list brings the total Chinese imports that face a 25 percent tariff to about $50 billion in a rapidly escalating trade war that could eventually slap duties on all goods traded between the world's two largest economies.

U.S. president Donald Trump has threatened to target all $500bn of Chinese imports.

It's the latest salvo in their tit-for-tat trade battle.

China's headline numbers are the first readings of the overall trade picture for the world's second-largest economy since USA duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports came into effect on July 6. For instance, the major complaint is about the theft of U.S. intellectual property by Chinese firms.

All the same, China's exports for July rose a bigger than expected 12.2 percent year-on-year, showing little tariff impact for now and beating June's 11.2 percent rise and analysts expectations in a Reuters poll for 10 percent growth. Beijing is expected to hit $16 billion worth of U.S. goods with equal tariffs in response to Tuesday's move.

A US-China trade war will reduce global output by 0.7% by 2020, with China's economy taking a 1.3% hit and US GDP dropping 1%, Oxford Economics said in a research note on Tuesday, before the new list was released.

A first tranche, on $34bn worth of goods, went into effect in July.




China has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in US goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products. So far, despite the rhetoric, only $37bn worth of imports into China and the U.S. have actually been affected.

ANZ senior China economist Betty Wang said Beijing will likely resist using its closely managed currency as a tool in the trade war.

The trade balance between the two countries, which is at the center of the tariffs tussle, continued to be in favor of China.

Beijing has retaliated with its own duties on $34bn of United States goods.

The 25 percent tariffs also will apply to a broad range of Chinese electronics, plastics, chemicals and railway equipment that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has said benefit from the "Made in China 2025" industrial plan, aimed at making China competitive in high-technology industries.

U.S. industries and farmers have been caught in the crossfire, and the Trump administration announced $12 billion in aid to help farmers hurt by duties on crops such as soybeans.

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