US to slap tariffs on extra $200 billion of Chinese imports

US fires next shot in China trade war

Trump preparing additional tariffs on $200B in Chinese goods

President Donald Trump has already ordered tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese exports for later this summer, after the comment period on the American list closes, and China will retaliate again.

The move would be the latest in the escalating trade skirmish between the world's two biggest economies.

Last week, Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing responded immediately with matching tariffs on the same amount of US exports to China.

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.

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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. And China's retaliation was targeted at soy farmers and others in the U.S. Republican heartland.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday evening unveiled a proposed list of more than 6,000 products to be hit with 10-per-cent import taxes.

David Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron, said the pressure on Mr. Trump will mount as the economic pain spreads from affected companies to be more widely felt by consumers. China quickly responded by imposing tariffs on $34 billion in US products.

USA officials say they remain willing to bargain.

The United States complains that China uses predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance. "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. However, because China exports more to the USA than it imports there are limits on the amount of tariffs Beijing can impose on American goods. That's why Trump can slap tariffs on them just because he feels like it.

In addition, the U.S. is considering separate duties on a further US$16 billion in Chinese goods, after a public hearing later this month.

"For companies that are severely impacted, we suggest they report to local government departments", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement Monday. "Reliance on more and more taxes as a means to drive change is a high-risk strategy with USA importers and exporters at the heart".

"Xi Jinping and the Communist Party do not face midterm elections in November", Rank said of the Chinese president, who is no longer bound by term limits.

The Washington Post's Danielle Paquette reported from Beijing.

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