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USA tariffs on China: Trump administration adds $16 billion

08 August 2018

China has now either imposed or proposed tariffs on $110 billion of USA goods, representing the vast majority of China's annual imports of American products.

In July the surplus with the United States was at $28.09 billion, down a touch from $28.93 billion in June, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Wednesday.

And the conflict is likely to escalate: The administration is preparing tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese products.

August 3: China announces that the country will impose tariffs of various rates on another $60 billion worth of USA goods if Trump moves forward with his latest threat.

Washington imposed 25% duties on $34bn (£26.3bn) of Chinese goods on 6 July in response to those complaints.

Although the move was expected, it cements the view that there appears to be no effort underway to defuse the dispute between the world's two largest economies.

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China's surplus with the United States shrank marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June.

Mr. Trump has continued to portray tariffs on foreign imports as good for the country, even as many Republicans and traditionally right-of-center groups preach their ills.

Washington and Beijing are locked in battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, and especially from the theft of American technological know-how.

World financial markets have taken a battering in recent months as fears grow that Trump's "America First" policies could derail a global economic revival.

Several large American companies have said they would adjust their supply chains to source outside of China if tariffs on Chinese goods impacted them, while China's Haier Group (1169.HK) said rising steel prices amid hefty USA import tariffs was driving up costs for its business in America.

Still, there's little sign the trade threat is hurting shipments just yet.

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Chinese state media has said Beijing will not be cowed by Washington's threats.

In the meantime, it sought public comment on the new items.

"Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems". Many Chinese semiconductors include basic chips that originate in the US.

John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said in a statement they were disappointed and puzzled why semiconductors remain on the final tariff list.

"Looking ahead, we expect export growth to cool in the coming months, though this will primarily reflect softer global growth rather than U.S. tariffs, the direct impact of which will continue to be mostly offset by the renminbi's (yuan's) recent depreciation", Capital Economics' Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note.

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USA tariffs on China: Trump administration adds $16 billion