Tit-for-tat: China plans new tariff on United States goods

Tit-for-tat: China plans new tariff on United States goods

China announced a list of USA goods including pork, apples and steel pipe that it said may be hit with higher import duties in response to President Donald Trump's tariff hike on steel and aluminum.

Hours later, China announced planned tariffs on imports of USA pork, recycled aluminum, steel pipes, fruit and wine, according to a Commerce Ministry statement on Friday. The U.S. goods, which had an import value of $3 billion in 2017, include wine, fresh fruit, dried fruit and nuts, steel pipes, modified ethanol, and ginseng. Their Commerce Ministry proposed a list of 128 US products as potential retaliation targets, according to a statement on its website.

The call between Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Liu, a confidante of President Xi Jinping, was the highest-level contact between the two governments since U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans for tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods on Thursday.

China said it would raise tariffs in two phases, slapping an additional 15 ideal on 120 goods worth almost $1bn if the USA fails to reach a "trade compensation agreement" within an unspecified timeframe.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the Senate Finance Committee that the exempted countries are involved in various stages of trade talks with the U.S., and that Trump decided "to pause" the tariffs for them.

"Many countries are calling to negotiate better trade deals because they don't want to have to pay the steel and aluminum tariffs", Trump said. China has announced measures on $3 billion worth of USA goods.

"Until the Trump administration articulates those concerns and how China can address them, it's going to be very, very hard for China to make those changes", said Parker.

Beijing reported a trade surplus of $275.8 billion with the United States a year ago, or two-thirds of its global total.

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USA officials say that probe, undertaken through Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, has found that China engages in unfair trade practices by forcing American investors to turn over key technologies to Chinese firms. It followed a seven-month investigation by USTR into allegations China violates USA intellectual property, under the seldom-used section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act.

Many countries went to the WTO on Friday to express concern about the US move, with China and Russian Federation specifically calling on the U.S.to follow WTO rules and uphold its commitment to the trade body. "Do not underestimate China's determination and capacity to safeguard its legitimate interests, and the price that the USA will have to pay for its arbitrary and reckless behaviour", she said. But shortly thereafter, Canada and Mexico were excluded from the tariffs, even though Canada is the largest country sending metals to the United States.

It said China also appears to be breaking WTO rules by imposing contract terms that discriminate against and are less favorable for imported foreign technology.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Mustin traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands and carried out manoeuvring operations. The report announcing the tariffs cited instances of U.S. companies being forced to move patents to China or partner with a Chinese firm in order to do business in the country.

U.S. wine exports to China past year were $79 million, according to data from the U.S. Wine Institute, which represents Californian wine makers.

"If they, the administration, are moving in the direction that goes through the WTO that are not tariffs, that are done with key partners like the European Union and Japan, we think that's really encouraging and that's the direction the conversation should go", said Josh Kallmer, the Information Technology Industry Council's senior vice president of global policy, in an interview.

USA businesses seem happy that there's a pause, albeit brief, for them to weigh in. "China is unlikely to sit idly in response to Trump's bluster".

If the Chinese face such a disruption, "then they have to eat all that steel", said William Reinsch, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Any punitive tariffs on soybeans would have a huge impact on American farmers, many of whom in the nation's Midwest were big supporters of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

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