China raises tariffs on $60B of US goods in technology fight

18 Septembre, 2018, 18:28 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has made a decision to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of USA products, starting on Monday.

The administration's proposal for the tariffs on US$200 billion (S$247 billion) of products drew protest from technology companies earlier this year, but the final list of taxed devices described by the official avoids many big consumer brand names and products.

US President Donald Trump has said he will impose 10 percent US tariffs on about $200bn worth of Chinese imports, but he spared some consumer products.

Mr Trump told China any retaliatory act against USA farmers or industry will trigger "phase three".

"Contrary to views in Washington, China can - and will - dig its heels in, and we are not optimistic about the prospect for a resolution in the short term", William Zarit, chairman of the American U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China, said in a statement Tuesday.

"These practices plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy".

"After a thorough study, the USTR concluded that China is engaged in numerous unfair policies and practices relating to United States technology and intellectual property - such as forcing United States companies to transfer technology to Chinese counterparts", the president said Monday night.

Once the new round of tariffs takes effect on September 24, punitive duties will be in place on roughly half of the products the United States buys from China - its largest source of imported merchandise.

Volume on USA exchanges was 6.21 billion shares, compared with the 6.14 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

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'Tariffs have put the U.S.in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been nearly unnoticeable.

The products spared included consumer electronics like smart watches and Bluetooth devices, child safety products such as high chairs, auto seats and playpens, and certain health-and-safety products such as bicycle helmets, the officials said.

Stocks fell Monday as markets braced for major escalations in the US-China trade war.

Still, he added that "the uncertainty around the issue and the potential for additional tariffs is affecting the market, and we're beginning to see some of the economic activity in China starting to moderate as a result of that".

But current US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will now be in charge of enforcing the Trump administration's new tariffs.

'Only knowing the pain of fighting will stop the war and cause (the United States) to negotiate seriously, ' said Lou. "Start building new plants now", he tweeted on September 8.

According to an analysis by Bloomberg, the new tariffs will have an impact on Beijing, eroding 0.5 percentage point off China's 2018 GDP growth.

Mr Trump has threatened to target all $500bn (£380bn) of Chinese imports unless Beijing agrees to sweeping changes to its intellectual property practices and what his administration alleges are unfair trade practices.

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