US Announces 25% Tariffs on Another $200 Billion of Chinese Imports

Mnuchin Liu He Lighthizer

China's top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, is supposed to begin another round of talks on Thursday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The U.S. was scheduled to raise the tariffs at 12:01 a.m.

The Trump team is intensifying its trade war with Beijing, which it claims reneged on commitments it had made in earlier trade talks. Trump's plan to lift tariffs on $200 billion (£153.52 billion) of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent is nearly certain to slow US economic growth and, if they stay in place for an extended period, could cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs, one forecaster said.

Liu said on his arrival in Washington that the prospects for the talks were "promising", but warned that raising tariffs would be "harmful to both sides", and called instead for cooperation.

Though most economists say such a broadening of the trade conflict would inflict serious damage on both economies, the president insists his tariffs helped the United States economy grow at a 3.2 per cent annual rate in the first quarter.

"We should not hurt innocent people", Mr Liu told CCTV.

At the White House, Mr Trump said he had received "a handsome letter" from Chinese President Xi Jinping and would "probably speak to him by phone".

Trump also has sought massive hikes in Chinese purchases of USA farm, energy and manufactured products to shrink a gaping United States trade deficit with China.

The setback was unexpected. Through late last week, Trump administration officials were suggesting that negotiators were making steady progress. "The Chinese side deeply regrets that if the USA tariff measures are implemented, China will have to take necessary countermeasures". With the clock ticking and the countdown, a mere 13 hours away from higher tariffs going into effect the current negotiations will now have to resolve that issue before they can move on to the real problems plaguing the current dialog.

Trump announced the tariff hike on Sunday, expressing frustration with the pace of the talks.

"The reason for the China pullback & attempted renegotiation of the Trade Deal is the honest HOPE that they will be able to 'negotiate" with Joe Biden or one of the very weak Democrats, ' Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

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The Chinese government has threatened to retaliate if tariffs are raised tonight.

If successful, the deal is anticipated to bring the lifting of tariffs on each others' imported goods, as well as enhanced intellectual property protections for Chinese companies and expanded markets in China for U.S. goods.

Since July previous year, China has cumulatively imposed counter-tariffs of up to 25 percent on about $110 billion of US products.

"This creates an unofficial window, potentially lasting a couple of weeks, in which negotiations can continue and generates a "soft" deadline to reach a deal", Goldman Sachs said in a report on Thursday.

The selloff on Thursday wasn't just concentrated in US markets, as bourses in Asia and Europe also plummeted.

Reuters on Wednesday revealed the extent of the rift that has opened between the two countries, reporting that a draft trade agreement text sent by Beijing on Friday night was riddled with changes that marked reversals in Chinese commitments that undermined core USA demands.

The technology sector posted the steepest declines, slipping 1.96 per cent, dragged down by a drop in shares of iPhone maker Apple Inc and chipmakers, which get a large portion of their revenue from China. -China trade war would bring.

The latest US increase might hit American consumers harder, said Jake Parker, vice president of the U.S. The men were detained in apparent retaliation after Canada arrested a Chinese executive at the request of the United States; the woman faces fraud charges in America.

-China trade meeting, which could lead to a prolonged dispute that would threaten global financial markets and economic growth.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index retreated 1.4 percent and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.8 percent in the red in midmorning trading.

Japan's Nikkei was off 0.3 percent.

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