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U.S. Levies Tariff on $50 Billion in Chinese Tech Goods

30 May 2018

Trade war fears had receded after the Trump administration said it had reached a deal to put ZTE Corp back in business after banning China's second-biggest telecoms equipment maker from buying us technology parts for seven years.

"We urge the United States to keep its promise", Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday, in reference to a joint statement released by the two countries after their latest round of negotiations. Trump has said that ZTE is part of the larger trade talks.

Another problem for the Trump administration is that the Chinese view his trade war as a direct threat to China's national security and even dignity. President Trump, who said last week that he was not happy with the way the first round of trade talks with China went, has increasingly seized on the threat of tariffs as a cudgel to force concessions from other countries.

China has repeatedly said that it will push ahead with its development of high-tech industries and will not back down in the face of what it sees as threats from Washington.

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The White House has gone back on its pledge to back down over tariffs on Chinese goods, announcing today that it will impose duties on $50bn-worth of goods.

The White House said yesterday that it also would restrict investment and exports by Chinese companies and individuals if they related to "industrially significant technology" in America.

The NRF cited a study which estimated the tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports could shave $3 billion off of US GDP and eliminate 134,000 jobs. The group cited research from Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, who estimates that US pork producers have lost $2.2 billion on an annualized basis as a result of events leading up to and following China's 25 percent punitive tariff on pork.

The White House said Tuesday that it would provide details of the Chinese products affected by the new tariffs on June 15 and that they will take effect "shortly thereafter". "However, we continue to believe that the use of tariffs puts all the burden on American companies and consumers", US Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Thomas J Donohue said yesterday.

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The United States and China subsequently conducted two rounds of trade talks aimed at avoiding a full-blown trade war.

"Last week, the President revealed the utter hollowness of his promises by pledging the American government resources to a Chinese company that has violated USA sanctions by selling technology to North Korea and Iran, and that is a known cyber security risk to the United States", she said.

Trump's Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin had said the trade war was "on hold".

"They come at a time when her father and his administration, in which she and her husband work, are making enormously consequential decisions with and about China", said Norm Eisen, the former ethics chief for President Barack Obama and a CNN contributor.

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Other advisers have pushed for tougher action, demanding that China make substantial reforms to its economy to end the subsidies it provides to developing industries and to allow USA companies equal access in the Chinese market.

U.S. Levies Tariff on $50 Billion in Chinese Tech Goods