USA unveils $200 billion list of China imports for tariffs

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks. Daniel Acker Bloomberg

US President Donald Trump has said he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of US imports from China previous year.

Trump has recently introduced tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products and, while hundreds of products have been affected, certain goods were conveniently spared from this enactment - including the products made for Ivanka's internationally manufactured fashion brand.

That means that USA companies working inside of China may be about to feel the wrath of the Chinese government - and consumer.

The tech sector, more broadly, will suffer from tariffs due to the nature and complexity of the worldwide supply chain that it relies on.

Trump has said continuously that China has taken advantage of the United States economy, and he has vowed to hit almost all the country's products with tariffs, as much as $450bn.

A survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai found that most USA businesses operating in China oppose the use of tariffs in retaliation for the challenges they face, from an uneven playing field to poor protection of intellectual property rights.

The proposed new round of U.S. tariffs mark a sharp escalation in a trade war between the world's two largest economies, which each began levying 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion worth of goods against the other on July 6, with tariffs on another US$16 billion in goods on the cards.

On Tuesday, the US Trade Representative's office announced a $200bn list of Chinese goods for possible 10 percent tariffs including fish, apples and burglar alarms.

There are fears that Beijing could attempt to disrupt operations of American automakers, retailers and others that see China as a key market.

"Resolving these challenges in an equitable manner is essential for the United States and China to have a healthy long-term commercial relationship that brings benefits to both our peoples", it said in a statement on the survey results.

China on Thursday said foreign firms operating in China would suffer in a trade war, urging US companies to lobby their government to protect their interests, and said no talks to end the impasse were now under way. The threat to the USA economy is less about a question of "if" and more about "when" and 'how bad.' Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise.


The Trump administration said the proposed list, which would put 10 percent tariffs on thousands of different categories of Chinese imports, is needed to increase the pressure on Beijing to change what the USA calls unfair trade practices.

The US is planning to implement 25 per cent tariffs on a further $US16 billion worth of Chinese imports within the next fortnight.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said China's retaliatory tariffs were "without any global legal basis or justification".

In financial markets, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.5 per cent, while the main indexes in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell more than 2 per cent.

Some U.S. business groups and lawmakers from Trump's own Republican Party were critical of the escalating tariffs.

The additional tariffs could affect as much as $468bn in trade between the two countries, with the possibility of an ever more expansive levies that US President Donald Trump threatened to impose on China.

'Tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products amounts to another multibillion-dollar tax on American businesses and families, ' trade lawyer Scott Lincicome said.

'Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach, ' Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch said. Imposing taxes on another $200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of every-day goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators.

China slammed the USA threat to expand tariff hikes to imports including apples, fish sticks and French doors as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle on Wednesday and vowed to protect its "core interests".

They also said they remain open to working with China to try to resolve the dispute, but the response from Beijing so far has been unsatisfactory.

TRT World's Kevin McAleese reports from Washington DC.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.