Trump poised to tax an additional $200bn Chinese imports

Leroy Wright
September 8, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Friday that he was ready to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the United States, threatening duties on another $267 billion in Chinese goods on top of $200 billion in imports now primed for levies in coming days. "I hate to do this, but behind that there is another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want".

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 31, 2018.

Companies such as Cisco and Hewlett-Packard say tariffs on Chinese networking equipment will ultimately make it more expensive for American consumers to access the Internet.

The administration could decide to begin taxing the imports equal to almost 40pc of all the goods China sold the United States past year after a public comment period ends Thursday.

The deadline for public comment on the next wave of punitive taxes on US$200 billion of annual imports from China expired Thursday, so Trump could impose the tariffs immediately.

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Trump has had Beijing in his crosshairs since he took office, and has applied increasing pressure to try to convince it to change its policies, allow more imports and reduce the US$335-billion U.S. trade deficit with China.

Cell phones, the biggest US import from China, have so far been spared, but would be engulfed if Trump activates the $267 billion tariff list. The US imported $505 billion of Chinese products in 2017, Census Bureau figures show. China has warned that it would retaliate with import taxes on $60 billion worth of USA goods.

"We are confident, capable and able to maintain steady and healthy development of the Chinese economy", Gao said.

Kudlow, who heads the National Economic Council, told CNBC the administration was still talking with China about trade issues but so far China had not met USA requests. An opportunity could take place when world leaders gather at the UN General Assembly in NY this month and the Group of 20 summit in Argentina in November, he said. "But I will say this: the world trading system is broken". "We want lower (trade) barriers across the board", Kudlow said.

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