Trump could raise tariffs further on Chinese goods

U.S.-China trade war back in focus

China has already filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization about the USA proposal for tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the President directed him to hike the proposed 10% tariff because Beijing has failed to meet the demands of the USA and imposed retaliatory levies. Despite the fact that some U.S. media have linked the proposal to hike tariffs to a sharp drop in the Chinese currency, senior USA officials downplayed that idea in a telephone call with reporters.

While technology stocks pulled the Nasdaq into positive territory, mounting US-China trade tensions sank the Dow Jones and S&P 500.

Two opposite trends prevail in the global markets.

The dispute is part of broader USA complaints about global trading conditions that have prompted Trump to raise duties on steel, aluminum, washing machines or solar panels from Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.

But China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said United States efforts to pressure China would be in vain, urging its trade policymakers to "calm down".

The United States has imposed tariffs on other nations too, including Canada and Mexico, Washington's partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Two Trump administration officials told reporters on a conference call Mr Trump remains open to communications with Beijing and that through informal conversations the two countries were discussing whether a "fruitful negotiation" was possible.

Derek Scissors, a China scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said a 25% tariff rate is more likely to shut out Chinese products and shift American supply chains to other countries, as a 10% duty could be offset by government subsidies and weakness in China's yuan currency.

American companies have started to feel the pinch as well from global steel and aluminum tariffs and the first tranche of China-specific duties that cover just $US34 billion of imports.

"China's trade abuses need to be addressed, but tariffs are not the answer".

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

"Well, let's put it into arithmetic perspective". 25% of tariffs can add to inflation more than 1.2 percentage points and seriously harm the established business practice in the USA.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that on June 18 Trump had directed him to identify US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10% in response to China's retaliation on previous U.S. tariffs. But it can delay licenses and hold up mergers and acquisition approvals for American businesses and increase inspections of US products at ports. As such, Brussels seems to have buckled under Washington's pressure, and in the future the two sides could cite common concerns to jointly seek to reform WTO rules. "It remains unchanged. The blackmailing and pressure by the United States will never work on China if the USA take measures to further escalate the situation we will surely take countermeasures to firmly uphold our legitimate rights and interests".

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