Trump Administration Readies Tariffs On $200 Billion Of Chinese Imports

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg

China' s Ministry of Commerce said that the tariffs are "totally unacceptable" and it is hurting the entire world, as well as China. "In order to safeguard the core interests of the country and the people, China will have to fight back as usual".

The United States had just imposed tariffs on Dollars 34 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday, drawing immediate retaliatory duties from Beijing on USA imports in the first shots of a heated trade war.

Last Friday, the USA imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $US34 billion ($46 billion) of Chinese products, and Beijing responded by hitting the same amount of USA imports.

It's now safe to say that a trade war is underway between the United States and China. China immediately responded with $34 billion worth of tariffs on American-made goods in retaliation.

"We can not turn a blind eye to China's mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy", Hatch said in a statement.

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"The trade dispute between China and the U.S.is a big deal, and to the extent that it goes to a full scale war that potentially is recessionary basically for the global economy so we have to be careful here", Tal said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 195.89 points, or 0.79 percent, to 24,723.77, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 17.65 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,776.19 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 34.64 points, or 0.45 percent, to 7,724.56.

In the USA, some lawmakers and business groups criticised the latest U.S. move.

The goal is to bring the total amount of Chinese imports up to 40 percent of the total imported from the Asian power, since the USA products hit by Beijing's retaliation represent that share of exports, an official told reporters in a conference call.

"Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise", David French, the group's senior vice president for government relations, said in a statement. "Imposing taxes on another $200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of every day goods for American families", a Chamber spokeswoman said.

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Shi Yinhong, a professor of global relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said countermeasures could also hurt China and prompt further retaliation by Trump.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said the announcement "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

China 'cannot match fresh USA tariffs, ' Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank said.

The Chinese state-run press has reportedly been instructed on how to report on the current trade conflict between China and the US.

The offshore yuan was at 6.6848 per dollar at 0831GMT after hitting a low of 6.6918, down almost 0.5 percent on the day, at one point in early Asian trade.

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While China has vowed to hit back with counter-measures, it can not use reciprocal tariffs as its imports of USA products are vastly smaller than its exports. Chinese diplomats have sought to build alliances in Washington while making the case for how United States investment in China is mutually beneficial for the two countries.

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