Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

US proposes higher tax on $200 billion in Chinese imports:The Asahi Shimbun

US proposes higher tax on $200 billion in Chinese imports:The Asahi Shimbun

Washington touted its initial tariffs as being carefully constructed to avoid having a big impact on US consumers and companies, but the expansion of the tariff lists has drawn in more goods that can not be imported from outside China.

The ministry said timing of the implementation of the new tariffs on United States goods would depend on the actions of the US.

Jake Colvin, vice president of the National Foreign Trade Council, said the Trump administration could be boxing itself into a corner.

"First, I suggest the USA take the right attitude and not to try to blackmail China as it doesn't work", spokesman Geng Shuang said in response to a question.

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"The escalating trade tensions have everyone in the industry concerned", said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero in a news release, although she also attributed high volumes to strong global economies.

China's government, however, shows no sign of bending to Washington's pressure.

China and the USA have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

He added that the door to dialogue is open, but that talks have to be based on mutual respect and equality.

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The U.S. imported $505 billion worth of Chinese goods in 2017 while China imported $130 billion worth of American products, according to the Commerce Department.

China appears to have stripped back its imports of US crude oil to near zero for September, having taken about 333,000 barrels per day in the first six months of the year, according to vessel-tracking data.

President Trump on Wednesday tried to increase pressure on China to change its trade practices by directing administration officials to consider more than doubling the size of proposed tariffs he has already threatened to slap on $200 billion in imports.

Increasing the rates to 25 percent could make them significantly more painful.

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The Donald Trump administration claims the tariffs are necessary to protect national security and USA businesses' intellectual property, and to reduce the country's trade deficit with China. China immediately responded with its own tariffs on U.S. goods worth $34 billion.

A source tells Reuters: the administration plans to bump up proposed tariffs from an initial 10 percent to 25 percent on 200 billion dollars of imported Chinese goods. But it can delay licenses and hold up mergers and acquisition approvals for American businesses and increase inspections of USA products at ports.

A bit of quick maths reveals that works out to US$50 billion (AU$67 billion) in fees. "The cost increases will be passed on to customers, so it will affect most Americans' pocketbooks".

Beijing's earlier round of tariffs appeared created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting soybeans, whiskey and other goods available from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers.

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The duties, initially announced last month, would not be imposed until after a period of public comment. It has typically taken several weeks after the closing of public comments for tariffs to be formally activated.

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