Trump on Board for $50 Billion in Additional Tariffs on Chinese Goods

15 June, 2018, 15:49 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi traded barbs on trade and China's territorial claims Thursday just as the two seek cooperation on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue

President Donald Trump has approved tariffs on Chinese goods worth about USD$50 billion (RM199 billion), said a person familiar with the decision, ratcheting up a confrontation on trade that's set to prompt retaliation from Beijing.

The president will also unveil a slightly altered list of goods that will be impacted by tariffs, with Reuters reporting that it will be smaller than the initial list, first proposed back at the start of April.

Washington has also completed a second list of possible tariffs on another US$100 billion in Chinese goods, in the expectation that China will respond to the initial USA tariff list in kind, sources told Reuters.

The U.S. has already imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from a wide range of nations, including China.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday morning that his country would "respond quickly" to any moves by the US.

The president is due to announce the tariffs after the original batch - on about 1,300 Chinese products - was put on hold for trade talks.

North Dakota farmer and NCGA President Kevin Skunes says, "Farmers are busy in the fields and need to be able to count on markets for their crops when it comes harvest time".

China, the world's No. 2 behind the USA, has pledged to retaliate on US exports including soybeans and pork.

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USA tech companies and trade groups, long critical of a number of China's trade practices, are opposed to tariffs as a way to curb Beijing's behavior.

Trump is shaking up the world economic order with his zeal for tariffs and embrace of trade conflict as a way to secure benefits for the U.S. He threw a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy economies into turmoil by revoking support for the group's joint statement and berating the summit's host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful that they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump's watch and undermine the benefits of the tax cuts he signed into law a year ago. He has identified reducing the $375 billion annual trade deficit with China as a key test of his "America First" trade strategy.

The trade spat could boost prices for raw materials and food, leading to higher rates of inflation and a potential recession, according to Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser.

'His fundamental commitment to the "deplorables" on the campaign trail was that he was going to bring manufacturing jobs back, particularly from Asia'. "It's really not just tariffs, it's tariffs on a scale never before considered".

The list will contain 800 product categories, down from 1,300 previously, according to another administration official and an industry source familiar with the list. Tariffs on any products added to the U.S. Trade Representative's list would be subject to a period of public feedback.

Beijing had previously pledged to respond to Washington's tariffs with retaliatory levies on $50 billion of goods form the U.S., including cars, planes and soybeans. China has pledged to retaliate in kind. Chinese officials have said they would drop agreements reached last month to buy more United States soybeans, natural gas and other products.

Trump also was bullish at and after the recent G7 meetings when he, alongside National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, refused to budge on their financial and trade policies.

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