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Tuesday 21 January 2020

US proposes $50 billion tariffs on 1,300 Chinese products

Sectors subject to the proposed tariffs include industries such as aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery

Washington: Fears of a trade war between the United States and China just escalated again. The Trump administration on Tuesday published a list of about 1,300 Chinese exports that could be targeted for tariffs.

The United States plans to apply the tariffs to about $50 billion worth of goods to punish China for its theft of trade secrets, including software, patents and other technology. A 25% tariff would be applied to all the products, according to the US Trade Representative.

Many of the tariffs would target the Chinese aerospace, tech and machinery industries. Others would target medical equipment, medicine and educational material, such as bookbinding equipment.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) said the proposed list of products is based on extensive interagency economic analysis and would target products that benefit from China’s industrial plans while minimizing the impact on the US economy.

China had said yesterday that its door for talks with the Trump administration is open but if there is a trade war it will “fight till the end”. The comments came a day after Beijing imposed tariffs on 128 American products as a retaliation against US duties on steel and aluminium.

China had imposed tariffs on 128 US imports worth $3 billion, including meat, fruit and pork, as retaliation against taxes approved by US President Donald Trump on imported steel and aluminium.

In a statement, the Chinese embassy in the United States said that China “strongly condemns and firmly opposes” the proposed list.

The tariffs won’t go into effect immediately. The administration will hold a public hearing for US businesses on 15 May. Even after that, it’s not clear when the tariffs would be applied.

Last month, Trump announced that the US will impose tariffs on approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese imports and take other actions in response to China’s policies that coerce American companies into transferring their technology and intellectual property to domestic Chinese enterprises.

Trump raked up the issue of trade gap with China once again, saying the US cannot afford to have a $500 billion a year trade deficit with Beijing.

However several industry groups were quick to oppose Trump’s proposal to impose the tariff on some 1300 selected Chinese products.

 

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