Trump announces $50bn in China tariffs despite retaliation warning

Trump announces $50bn in China tariffs despite retaliation warning

President Trump set to approve a new list of $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods, according to press reports.

The president will also unveil a slightly altered list of goods that will be impacted by tariffs, with Reuters reporting that it will be smaller than the initial list, first proposed back at the start of April.

A report in the Wall Street Journal quoting sources close to the matter said Thursday evening the list had been approved and would affect about $50 billion worth of goods, the same figure that was first announced in March. Goods tied to Beijing's ambitious "Made in China 2025" plan will be included. Commitments made so far in talks with the U.S. will be withdrawn if the threat to impose tariffs is carried out, China said this month.

The International Monetary Fund warned that Trump's new tariffs threaten to undermine the global trading system, prompt retaliation by other countries and damage the USA economy.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the comments at a daily news briefing.

Beijing and Washington have held three rounds of high-level talks since early May that have yet to yield a compromise, with Mr Trump unmoved by a Chinese offer to buy an additional US$70 billion worth of U.S. farm and energy products and other goods, people familiar with the matter have said.

The move is likely to attract retaliatory action by China.

"The US-China trade conflict appears to be entering a new and potentially damaging phase", Chief Asia Economist Tom Orlik wrote in a note.

The trade spat could boost prices for raw materials and food, leading to higher rates of inflation and a potential recession, according to Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser.

US President Donald Trump Trump says he'll confront China "very strongly" over trade in the coming weeks.

'Those are all historic ingredients for an economic slowdown'.

In the trade fight, Bannon said, Trump has converted three major tools that "the American elites considered off the table" namely, the use of tariffs, the technology investigation of China and penalties on Chinese telecom giant ZTE.

"We're asking them to completely change who they are and we're shaking this little stick in front of them", said Derek Scissors, an expert on the Chinese economy at the American Enterprise Institute.

Spain's newly appointed agricultural minister, Luis Planas, also opposed the tariff's impact, saying it was unjust.

The tariffs, which Trump set in motion in March, are a response to China's practice of compulsory technology licensing for foreign companies and its efforts to steal USA trade secrets via cybertheft, administration officials have said.

The list is meant to minimise the impact on USA consumers and businesses by selecting goods where there are ample alternative supplies from other countries.

The president has blamed China for the loss of 60,000 US factories and 6 million American jobs, numbers most economists regard as including the effects of increased manufacturing automation. China has pledged to retaliate in kind.

The approval followed a White House meeting with senior White House officials and senior representatives of the Treasury and Commerce departments, U.S. Trade Representative's Office and national security officials.

Beijing has also drawn up a list of $50 billion in US products that would face retaliatory tariffs, including beef and soybeans, a shot at Trump's supporters in rural America.

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