President Donald Trump inched closer to an all-out trade war by unveiling plans Monday to impose 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing doesn't bend to U.S. demands.
The Trump administration last week finalized plans to slap tariffs on $50 billion in imports from China, accusing Beijing of violating USA intellectual property rights and stealing American firms' technology.
He ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent, which will be imposed if Beijing "insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced".
Trump said Monday that China's decision to retaliate in kind against his first batch of $50 billion in tariffs - announced on Friday - required a US response to encourage China to change its unfair practices.
Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others. "The trade relationship between the United States and China must be much more equitable".
If the United States publishes a new list of tariffs, Beijing will take strong countermeasures to safeguard the interests of China and its people, the ministry said.
China said it would retaliate immediately by slapping duties on American export products, including crude oil, and suspend all previous trade agreements with Trump's administration.
"This latest action by China clearly indicates its determination to keep the United States at a permanent and unfair disadvantage, which is reflected in our massive $US376 billion trade imbalance in goods".
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And the China trade offensive is only one side of Trump's multi-front battle with all major U.S. economic partners.
Trump said that the new tariff would go into effect if the Chinese government did not lower recently announced tariffs on USA goods and failed to address the theft of USA intellectual property by Chinese companies. "Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong", he said. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.
Trump had announced a 25 per cent tariff on up to US$50 billion in Chinese imports.
Following Trump's announcement, China rolled out retaliatory tariffs on $US50 billion worth of USA goods and promised to stand firm against the US's actions. "Trump could put more pressure on other countries like Japan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation courtiers", said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo. The tariffs were quickly matched by China on USA exports.
China's retaliation list was increased more than six-fold from a version released in April, but the value was kept at $50 billion, as some high-value items such as commercial aircraft were deleted.
The first round of US tariffs worth $34 billion will go into effect on July 6, while a second batch valued at $16 billion will undergo further review, USTR said last week.
Gulf oil producers may benefit from China's threat to impose import tariffs on USA crude and other energy products, as key exporters meet to discuss production increases later this week.