Economy

'Reckless': Trump escalates trade war with another $US200b in Chinese tariffs

'Reckless': Trump escalates trade war with another $US200b in Chinese tariffs

China has stepped up action against some USA goods by announcing anti-dumping duties on raw materials used in making optical fibers. High-level talks between the two countries starting in May failed to deliver a breakthrough to head off a trade war.

It also noted that the profits from reciprocal tariffs will mainly be used to minimize the damage to Chinese enterprises and their employees.

The Trump administration on July 6 imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion in Chinese imports, the first time the president has implemented tariffs directly on Beijing after threatening to do so for months. He added the United States is ready to target an additional $200 billion, and then $300 billion more should Beijing retaliate.

The United States complains that China uses predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chair of the Senate Finance committee.

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Beijing has vowed to respond in kind to any USA trade action.

China's retaliation to those measures was "without any worldwide legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said Tuesday.

"They were the ones who started everything by hurting us", the official said.

"For over a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in announcing the proposed tariffs.

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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. "This new round of proposed tariffs takes the fight onto yet another level from which it is going to be hard for either side to make a graceful retreat", said Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund's China division.

The new duties are "a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm USA families and workers", said David French, the National Retail Federation's senior vice president for government relations.

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

It said Corning was among the companies that would be affected by the higher duties.

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The Washington Post's Danielle Paquette reported from Beijing.


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