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Trump threatens further $100bn in tariffs against China

Last edited 6th April 2018

Trump threatens further $100bn in tariffs against China

US President Donald Trump has instructed officials to consider a further $100bn (£71.3bn) of tariffs against China, in an escalation of a tense trade stand-off.

These would be in addition to the $50bn worth of US tariffs already proposed on hundreds of Chinese imports.

The proposal comes after China retaliated to that by threatening tariffs on 106 key US products.

The tit-for-tat moves have unsettled global markets in recent weeks.

Analysts have said a full blown trade war between the US and China would not be good for the global economy or markets - and that ongoing behind-the-scenes negotiations between the two giants were crucial.

But market reaction in Asia trade on Friday suggested investors were not too troubled by the latest twist, and that trade war fears were somewhat exaggerated.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was in positive territory, up 1.3%. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was also trading higher in the afternoon session.

How has this unfolded?Earlier this year, the US announced it would impose import taxes of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium. The tariffs would be wide ranging and would include China.

China responded this month with retaliatory tariffs worth $3bn of its own against the US on a range of goods, including pork and wine. Beijing said the move was intended to safeguard its interests and balance losses caused by the new tariffs.


Meanwhile, there had been rumblings the US was preparing to slap between $50bn and $60bn worth of tariffs on Chinese-made goods in response to unfair Chinese intellectual property practices, such as those that pressure US companies to share technology with Chinese firms.

The draft details of those import taxes were released last week when Washington set out about 1,300 Chinese products it intended to hit with tariffs set at 25% worth some $50bn.

China responded swiftly by proposing retaliatory tariffs, also worth some $50bn, on 106 key US products, including soybeans, aircraft parts and orange juice. This set of tariffs was narrowly aimed at politically important sectors in the US, such as agriculture.

In Mr Trump's Thursday statement he branded that retaliation by Beijing as "unfair".

"Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers," he said.

"In light of China's unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR (United States Trade Representative) to consider whether $100bn of additional tariffs would be appropriate... and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs."

He said he had also instructed agricultural officials to implement a plan to protect US farmers and agricultural interests.



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