United States fires next shot in China trade war

Canola is an “imperfect substitute” for soybeans
Mike Drew  Postmedia

Canola is an “imperfect substitute” for soybeans Mike Drew Postmedia

President Donald Trump is preparing to release a list of an additional $200 billion in Chinese products to be hit with tariffs, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The consultation process for the new list will probably last about two months, including public hearings to take place from August 20 to 23, two senior administration officials said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters.

"Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war", said Hun Quach, the head of worldwide trade policy for the group.

The Trump administration is readying tariffs on another $200 billion U.S. in Chinese imports, ranging from burglar alarms to mackerel.

President Donald Trump has threatened to tax as much as $550 billion in Chinese products - an amount that exceeds America's total imports from China previous year.

"Although I have supported the administration's targeted efforts to combat China's technology transfer regime, tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", Hatch said in a statement. China has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar to any further USA tariffs.

"We encourage companies to optimize the structure of imports, increase imports of soybean, agricultural products, as well as seafood and cars from other countries and regions", said the ministry, explaining that the measures are aimed at mitigating the effects of the trade war with the United States.

On Tuesday, the Office of the US Trade Representative proposed 10 percent tariffs on a list of 6,031 Chinese product lines.

The president has repeatedly described his resort to tariffs - which are paid by American importers - as a lever to extract negotiating concessions from USA trading partners.

The president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, Mats Harborn, said Tuesday one of its members moved final assembly of goods for the American market from China to a newly created US company.

Administration officials said the tariff fight is aimed at forcing China to stop stealing American intellectual property and to abandon policies that effectively force USA companies to surrender their trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market. But Mr Trump hasn't backed down, arguing that China's unfair trading practices are hurting American workers. Since then, the president has said his administration could impose duties on virtually all Chinese imports into the US.

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