USA proposes $200B more in tariffs on Chinese imports

Dealing rooms were in sombre mood early

Dealing rooms were in sombre mood early

The Trump administration said Tuesday it will publish a proposed list of an additional US$200 billion in Chinese products to be hit with tariffs, marking a sharp escalation in a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The previous round of tariffs: The Trump administration last week imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 million in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to impose retaliatory tariffs of the same amount on United States imports.

The additional US tariffs, which will go through a two-month approval process including a public hearing, come after China retaliated in a tit-for-tat trade skirmish last week.

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"Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise".

The tariff list could be released as soon as Tuesday, and likely this week, the report said.

"This is where a painful situation gets more painful", said Phil Levy, a former White House economist in the George W. Bush administration.

But Trump has said continuously that China has taken advantage of the United States economy, and he has vowed to hit almost all the country's products with tariffs, as much as $450 billion. But China only bought about $135 billion in US goods previous year, meaning it will run out of American products to tax before it matches Trump's latest move.

Instead of giving in, however, China hit back with dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs on US products.

US officials say they remain willing to bargain.

The Trump administration has accused companies in China of repeatedly committing intellectual property theft and other unfair trade practices, while it says China's government remains unresponsive to its concerns.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said there was "no justification" for China's retaliation.

Trump authorized an initial $50 billion in tariffs - including the $34 billion that took effect Friday - to match those losses.

Chinese officials also encouraged businesses to reduce their reliance on USA goods, urging them to shift orders for products such as soybeans and automobiles to suppliers in China or countries other than the United States.

"Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour - behaviour that puts the future of the U.S. economy at risk".

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