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New round of tariffs targets $200 billion of Chinese goods

New round of tariffs targets $200 billion of Chinese goods

"There is still a good six or seven weeks before these (tariffs) take effect so it is not like we are going to see these tomorrow, but it is definitely the next step in a trade war", TD Securities global strategist James Rossiter said.

President Donald Trump escalated America's trade war with China on Tuesday, with an additional $200 billion of tariffs on Chinese made goods.

China's Commerce Ministry slammed the latest USA threat as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their dispute and promised to protect its "core interests".

The Trump administration said the proposed list, which would put 10 percent tariffs on thousands of different categories of Chinese imports, is needed to increase the pressure on Beijing to change what the USA calls unfair trade practices.

More than 6,000 items could be affected - including burglar alarms, auto tyres, handbags, baseball gloves, carpets, toilet paper, dog food, and hundreds of food products.

But U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the 10 percent duties, which also cover many consumer products that may also contain unlisted plastics components, are needed to put more pressure on China.

"Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against U.S. products", Lighthizer said in a statement. "There is no justification for such action", he said in a statement.

Washington on Tuesday announced it was starting the process to slap 10 per cent tariffs on another United States dollars 200 billion in Chinese export goods as soon as September.

The measure is a significant escalation of the conflict and easily tops the $50 billion in tariffs that the two countries have so far levied on each other, or are about to levy.

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Trump's latest move took the wind out of investors' sails largely because the central scenario for many in the markets is that Washington will eventually step back from the escalating row and settle for some sort of compromise. China immediately retaliated with duties on the same value of USA goods, including soybeans and cars.

The clock now starts ticking on a two-month period of public comment before the levies are imposed.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican, said the move "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

That's why Trump can slap tariffs on them just because he feels like it.

"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.

Meh. What's $200 billion these days? "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Among the potential ways Beijing could hit back are "qualitative measures", a threat that US businesses in China fear could mean anything from stepped-up inspections to delays in investment approvals and even consumer boycotts.

Americans won't officially announce whether these tariffs will go ahead until after August 31, but some industries are already feeling the pinch. Chinese tariffs have already impacted USA exports such as soybeans. That prompted fears Beijing might go beyond matching US import tax increases by harassing American companies in China.

Meanwhile, farmers hurt by Chinese tariffs on US agricultural exports pose a political risk for Mr. Trump and for Republicans, especially as the November midterm elections loom.

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