Trump approves plan to impose tough U.S. tariffs on China
- Merle Christensen
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce Friday thathe has chose to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in response to U.S. concerns about theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfers, a source briefed on the matter said.
President Trump is ready to slap tariffs on almost $50 billion in Chinese goods, according to reports, reigniting fears of a trade war between the world's two largest economies.
"China opts for the first one and has made such a decision", Wang said before warning, "we hope the USA will make a wise choice and China on its part is prepared on all fronts".
"All the results from the negotiations will not go into effect", Geng repeated, and added China's commerce ministry had made a formal response to the US's unilateralism in early April when the Trump administration first unveiled the tariffs.
Retaliatory tariffs imposed by China would not only directly affect America's producers, but also tangential industries that support agriculture, a concern that is pressing among members of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
But that amount is still significant and all but guaranteed to provoke a response form Beijing, which has its own tariff target list of $50 billion in USA goods, including soybeans, beef and cars.
Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies have been steadily escalating over recent months as Trump began tariff fights with long-standing USA allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union over steel and aluminum production.
"These tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs", he said.
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He Weiwen, former economic and commercial counsellor at the Chinese consulate in NY and San Francisco, said that by waving the stick of trade sanctions, Washington was trying to pressure Beijing into giving more concessions while checking the rise of China in technology. The US trade deficit with China was $336 billion in 2017.
The White House has declared that by June 15 it would announce its final list of $50 billion in Chinese products that would be subject to 25% tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
"I stressed how important it is for President Trump to rectify that situation so that trade becomes more balanced, more reciprocal and more fair, with the opportunity to have American workers be treated fairly", he said. But he signaled that whatever the implications, "I have to do what I have to do" to address the trade imbalance.
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 previous year.
A Wall Street Journal report warned that the United States decision could become the start of a tit-for-tat series of retaliatory moves. "Those are all historic ingredients for an economic slowdown", Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser, said at an event sponsored by The Washington Post.
Ten days later, the White House abruptly said it would proceed with the tariffs.
Spain's newly appointed agricultural minister, Luis Planas, also opposed the tariff's impact, saying it was unjust. Chinese officials have said they would drop agreements reached last month to buy more U.S. soybeans, natural gas and other products. The US views China as a strategic competitor and is wary of a potential challenge to US technology.
By June 30, the administration plans to announce investment restrictions and "enhanced export controls" for Chinese "persons and entities related to industrially significant technology", according to a White House statement last month.