Trump makes good on threat — $200 billion in new tariffs on China

By David J. Lynch and Danielle Paquette | The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump escalated his trade war with China Tuesday, identifying an additional $200 billion in Chinese products that he intends to hit with import tariffs.

The move makes good on the president’s threat to respond to China’s retaliation for the initial U.S. tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods, which went into effect on Friday and would eventually place nearly half of all Chinese imports under tariffs.

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Administration officials said the tariff fight is aimed at forcing China to stop stealing American intellectual property and to abandon policies that effectively force U.S. companies to surrender their trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market.

“These practices are an existential threat to America’s most critical comparative advantage and the future of our economy,” said Robert Lighthizer, the president’s chief trade negotiator.

Trump’s latest action will hit consumer products, such as televisions, clothing, bedsheets and air conditioners, which were spared from the first import levies on Friday. But the new tariffs will not be imposed until the end of a two-month public comment period.

“This is where a painful situation gets more painful,” said Phil Levy, a former White House economist in the George W. Bush administration.

Early reaction to the president’s action was unfavorable. “Tonight’s announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Beijing has vowed to respond in kind to any U.S. trade action. But China only bought about $135 billion in U.S. goods last year, meaning it will run out of American products to tax before it matches Trump’s latest move.

Chinese officials are expected to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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