Trump could raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods


The International Monetary Fund has cited escalating trade disputes as a growing downside risk that's threatening the strongest global economic upswing in seven years.

At the same time, representatives of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are having private conversations as they look for ways to reengage in negotiations, according to people who spoke about the deliberations on condition of anonymity.

These new tariffs would affect about 38% of all American exports to China, which are worth about $170 billion in total.

Washington is expected to soon implement more tariffs on $21 billion in additional Chinese goods, which China has already announced it will match immediately.

Officials however downplayed suggestions the move was meant to compensate for the recent decline in the value of the Chinese currency, which have threatened to take much of the sting out of Trump's tariffs by making the imports cheaper.

"I need to stress that dialogues must be conducted on the basis of mutual respect and equality", he said.

While the conflict nominally centers around the US's $375 billion annual goods trade deficit with China, it has morphed into a chapter in the nations' broader strategic rivalry.

Mickey Kantor, who was US trade representative under President Bill Clinton, warned that a trade war with China will take a toll on a USA healthy economy that from April through June registered the fastest growth since 2014.

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.

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

Erin Ennis, senior vice president of the U.S.

"Blackmail and pressurizing by the U.S. will never work for China and if they take measures to further escalate the situation we will surely take countermeasures to firmly uphold our legitimate rights and interests", said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. Beijing responded to news reports on Tuesday about the planned tariff increase by cautioning the US against "blackmailing and pressuring" and it vowed to strike back at every escalation.

A spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative's Office declined to comment on the proposed tariff rate increase or on whether changing them would alter the deadlines laid out for comment period before implementation.

But China exports far more to the United States than the other way round, making it more challenging for the country to hit back against USA tariffs.

General Electric (GE.N) estimated the new tariffs on its imports from China could raise its costs by $300 million to $400 million overall, before steps to lessen the impact while General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N) have lowered their full-year profit forecasts.

The latest on the on-going trade war bewteen Washington and Beijing. the Trump administration says it's considering raising its proposed tariffs on 200 billion dollars of Chinese 25 percent.

US President Donald Trump sought to ratchet up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 per cent tariff on US$200 billion (S$270 billion) worth of Chinese imports, his administration said on Wednesday (Aug 1).