US unveils $200 billion list of China imports for tariffs | News | DW | 10.07.2018
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US unveils $200 billion list of China imports for tariffs

US officials have revealed a list of Chinese goods they will be targeting with 10 percent tariffs, raising fears of an escalating trade war. US retailers have slammed the decision, as has China itself.

The US on Tuesday published a list of $200 billion (€170 billion) worth of Chinese goods that could soon be hit with tariffs.

The move is a major escalation in a brewing trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Tariffs by September

According to the Office of the US Trade Representative:

  • The additional 6,031 product lines would be hit with a 10 percent tariff.
  • The list is subject to two months of finalization and input before possible implementation by President Donald Trump.
  • The earliest they would come into effect is September.
  • The products include various food items, chemicals, minerals, tobacco, electronics and office goods.

Read more: Germany, China seek closer alliance over trade spat with US

China's Commerce Ministry called the new wave of US tariffs "totally unacceptable." It added that Beijing would respond to the latest moves by Washington.

"The US's behavior is hurting China, hurting the world, and hurting itself," the ministry said in a statement.

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Germany and China united in trade?

Tax on American consumers

The Retail Industry Leaders Association said new tariffs on Chinese imports would punish American families by driving up prices.

Scott Lincicome, a trade lawyer for the group Republicans Fighting Tariffs, said tariffs on $200 billion would amount to a "multibillion-dollar tax on American businesses and families" and prompt China to retaliate against American exporters. 

US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch described the move as "reckless."

A top Chinese commerce official, echoing previous statements, accused the United States of harming the world trade rules and globalization.  

The previous round of tariffs: The Trump administration last week imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 million in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to impose retaliatory tariffs of the same amount on US imports. The US has suggested that it may ultimately impose tariffs on $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the entire amount of US imports from China.  

Chinese retaliation: China has threatened to retaliate dollar-for-dollar if the Trump administration imposes a new round of tariffs. However, because China exports more to the US than it imports there are limits on the amount of tariffs Beijing can impose on American goods.  This has raised concerns that China could retaliate with non-tariff trade measures. 

Trade war with the world: US tariffs on aluminum and steel from Canada, the EU and other countries have also triggered retaliatory tariffs on US goods. The prospect of an international trade war has sent jitters through world markets.

cw, aw/aw (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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