Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

China Plans Tariffs on $60 Billion of Imports to Counter Trump

China Plans Tariffs on $60 Billion of Imports to Counter Trump

The higher tariff rate, if implemented, would apply to a list of goods valued at US$200 billion identified by the USTR last month as a response to China's retaliatory tariffs on an initial round of U.S. tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese electronic components, machinery, autos and industrial goods.

The Finance Ministry accused the Trump administration of damaging the global economy after it proposed hiking duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods in the second round of a dispute over technology.

The statement said the date of implementation of the taxes will depend on the "actions of the USA side" and China reserves the right to apply "other countermeasures".

While US Census data shows it imported products from the country worth $505.5 billion a year ago, it exported just $129.9 billion.

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The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over US demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit.

Washington had already imposed import tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods last month, with Beijing immediately retaliating.

"I might think the $60 billion is a weak response to our $200 (billion)", Kudlow said dismissively, while admitting that "there is a lot they can do to damage our companies in China".

The two countries have not had formal trade talks since early June.

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Trump has said he is determined to reduce the large USA trade deficit with China.

The commerce ministry threat came after Wang met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore on Friday.

However, speaking to reporters at the White House, Kudlow said there had been some communication on trade "at the highest level" in recent days. LNG's inclusion marks a deployment by Beijing of one of its last major weapons from its energy and commodities arsenal in its fight with Washington. After the earlier action against $34 billion of US goods, that left about $120 billion available for retaliation. The amount could be even larger if the United States resolves a logistics bottleneck.

Other US goods targeted by China also included semiconductors, some helicopters, small-to-mid-sized aircraft, condoms, beef, steel products and coffee. The tariffs would range from 5 percent to 25 percent. Helicopters with an empty weight of less than 2 tonnes were also on that list.

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