Trump to impose tariffs on $50 bn in Chinese imports: White House

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Friday said it was considering raising tariffs on 128 USA products bound for China, including fruits, nuts, wines, pork, and recycled aluminium, according to a statement on its website.

The Commerce Ministry urged Washington to negotiate a prompt settlement to the conflict over Trump's tariff hike on steel and aluminum but set no deadline.

Filiappaios warned that Trump is walking down a unsafe and counter-productive path by bypassing the processes of the WTO, of which it remains a member. The European Union and other trade partners dismiss that as an excuse and say the USA merely wants to give its companies a boost.

Trump was due to unveil the sanctions later. It gave no indication of a possible response but a foreign ministry spokeswoman said Beijing was "fully prepared to defend" its interests.

The ratcheting up of tensions sent a shiver through world financial markets.

Feeling the chill, MSCI´s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 2.5 percent, tracking heavy losses on Wall Street.

The dollar dipped to 104.90 yen as investors shifted into the Japanese currency, which is viewed as a "safe haven" from risk.

Under Beijing's proposed retaliation plan, Washington state's exports of apples, cherries and potatoes will be targeted; and the state's top two exports to China, civilian aircraft products and soybeans, could also be in the crosshairs of a furious Beijing.

He will also direct Lighthizer to take action against China at the World Trade Organization, charging Beijing with preventing U.S. companies from licensing their technology in China.

"China also appears to be breaking WTO rules by imposing conditions that don't allow USA firms the ability to protect their intellectual property", it added.

Trump's threats have put President Xi Jinping of China on the spot.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump has ordered more tariffs, specifically on Chinese goods. "We are unique in the industry, in that if there is any change in trade policy, we have the ability to channel production to any market quickly". "That announcement is nearly certain to provoke China into retaliating against USA agriculture". That leaves Beijing room to take more drastic steps.

A senior USA official has said that the European Union (EU) and six other countries will be exempt from steel and aluminium tariffs announced by President Trump, at least temporarily.

-China Business Council, which represents American companies that do business with China.

In 2016, Washington state exported US$16.5 billion in goods to China, up 300 per cent over 2005.

"We will retaliate. If people want to play tough, we will play tough with them and see who will last longer", Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai said in a video posted to the embassy's Facebook page. For many years, they had free reign; they don't have free reign anymore. However, the mechanism has improved radically over the last few years and has managed to resolve issues in a more reasonable time frame, he added.

The official cited Beijing's "Made in China 2025" plan as "hugely problematic". Ethanol is already taxed at almost 40 percent. A Chinese commerce ministry official said both sides were in touch.

"We have repeatedly told the USA side that steel and aluminum imports from its ally Japan will not adversely affect America's national security, and that Japan should be excluded", said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. "We have spoken to China and we are in the middle of negotiations".

Trump, however, appears intent on fulfilling election promises to reduce the record USA trade deficit with China.

Responding to questions, the official said the concerns with Chinese economic practices are widespread throughout the United States and around the world.

WH is assessing how to amend its strategy in response to the tariff, spokesman Luis Chein said.

At a press conference earlier on Thursday, Hua highlighted key USA exports to China but declined to say whether these would be likely targets for retaliatory action.

"Which countries - this is going to happen tomorrow - will not have these steel and aluminum tariffs applied to them?"

But those products remain only occasional purchases for many Chinese households.

Li said Beijing would "fully open" manufacturing, with "no mandatory requirement for technology transfers".

  • Kyle Peterson