Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Trump poised to tax an additional $200B in Chinese imports

Trump poised to tax an additional $200B in Chinese imports

The Trump administration has placed punitive tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese goods and threatened to tax all Chinese imports to the United States.

Meanwhile, Chinese state media have been pushing propaganda that Trump's trade war is aimed at containing China's rise. Exports from the world's second biggest economy increased by 9.8 per cent while its imports rose by 20 per cent compared to the same month past year, according to customs data.

Trump continued, saying that "behind that there is another $267 billion [list] ready to go on short notice if I want".

The United States imported $505 billion in goods from China past year, and 2018 Chinese imports through July were up almost 9 percent over the same period of 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Global businesses were on the edge of their seats Friday morning, as the comment period closed Thursday on duties on $200 billion worth of imports to the USA from China.

Many American companies that rely on targeted Chinese imports are bracing for the next round of tariffs to hit, with some wondering whether they can absorb the higher costs or instead will need to pass them along to their customers - or find alternatives suppliers outside China. In the past Trump has allegedly assured CEO Tim Cook that the iPhone wouldn't be affected, but the leader has reversed course on other promises in the past. It makes many of its products for the US market in China, and it also sells gadgets including the iPhone in China, making them a potential target for Chinese retaliation against the Trump tariffs.

China has retaliated against those already in effect with tariffs of its own against United States imports targeting, among other things, agricultural produce and seafood. That would mean penalties cover nearly all goods from China sold to the United States.

"That totally changes the equation", Trump said.

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That would cover virtually all the goods imported from the world's second largest economy.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude remained flat at $67.77 a barrel.

"I'm being strong on China because I have to be", Mr Trump told reporters on board Air Force One on a flight to North Dakota.

Earlier, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC that the administration was still talking with China about trade issues but that so far China had not met USA requests.

The firms are anxious the tariffs will increase their costs since many of their components come from China.

While U.S. businesses in China do not yet appear to face widespread retaliation, some company officials have told Reuters they are bracing for blowback.

But Kudlow said the US goals are clear. Economists have forecast that employers added 189,000 jobs in August and that the unemployment rate dipped from an already-low 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent. That meant that without sales to the US market, China would have run a trade deficit.

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