Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

China unveils additional retaliatory tariffs on $60bn of U.S. goods

China unveils additional retaliatory tariffs on $60bn of U.S. goods

The Trump administration last month enacted a 25% tariff on roughly $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate in kind, and then threatened to slap additional duties on almost all Chinese goods sent to the US.

Signalling the nation's readiness to respond to higher tariffs threatened by Donald Trump on $200bn of Chinese imports, officials in Beijing said countermeasures were ready and waiting for the next move from Washington.

China has threatened to impose new tariffs of 5 per cent to 25 per cent on about $60 billion of American exports, escalating a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

The Ministry said it would impose tariffs ranging from five to 25 per cent on Dollars 60 million worth of American products. "So, the basic foundation of US-China cooperation is very strong", he added.

These taxes come as similar levies on agricultural goods have been imposed by the European Union, Canada and Mexico in retaliation to Mr Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called China's Vice-Premier Liu He last week in a bid to persuade Beijing to approve US chip maker Qualcomm's takeover deal of Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors, the Post reported.

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

China's tariffs could threaten to significantly dampen the growth of LNG exports, which have been central to Trump's energy agenda.

The Chinese government has said that it will make a final decision on if, when, and how these tariffs will be implemented next month.

Wang, who is in Singapore for a foreign ministers' meeting, said the spat will not affect diplomatic cooperation with Washington on North Korea.

Trump announced a further round of 25 percent of tariffs June 15 on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. The administration has repeatedly said it is eager to expand fossil fuel supplies to global allies, while Washington is rolling back domestic regulations to encourage more oil and gas production.

Increasing the rates to 25 per cent could make them significantly more painful.

Much of American industry and many members of Trump's own Republican Party have expressed outrage but have so far been unable to thwart his trade policies.

The US Senate last week passed legislation which if enacted would lower trade barriers on hundreds of Chinese imports.

"Instead of retaliating, China should address the long-standing concerns about its unfair trading practices", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in an emailed statement.

"It's hard to see how this action lends itself towards a resolution to what is increasingly becoming a trade crisis", he told AFP.

Trump and senior administration officials believe the volume of USA imports and vigorous health of the American economy give Washington an advantage in the current confrontation.

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