US Worsens Trade War with China

US Worsens Trade War with China

"We hope that those directly involved in the United States' trade policies can calm down, carefully listen to the voices of U.S. consumers.and hear the collective call of the global community", he said, adding that pressuring China would not have "any effect".

A bit of quick maths reveals that works out to US$50 billion (AU$67 billion) in fees.

The move was cast as a response to an August 2 plan to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.

"The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is meant to provide the Administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior", Lighthizer wrote.

The Donald Trump administration claims the tariffs are necessary to protect national security and US businesses' intellectual property, and to reduce the country's trade deficit with China.

Washington wants China to open its market more to United States products and stop harming American workers, one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behaviour, China has illegally retaliated against U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses", Lighthizer said in a statement.

"Escalating tariffs against China is the wrong approach to address legitimate concerns US businesses have with China's harmful practices", said Myron Brilliant, head of worldwide affairs for the US Chamber of Commerce.

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China's new threat targeting a smaller amount of USA goods reflects the fact that Beijing is running out of products for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the United States. "Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behaviour, China has illegally retaliated against U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses". Washington is expected to soon implement more tariffs on $16 billion in additional Chinese goods, which China has already announced it will match immediately. The US had threatened an additional US$200 billion with levies of 10%, a level the administration may raise to 25% in a Federal Register notice in coming days, one of the people said.

China is willing to resolve differences with the United States on an equal footing, the Chinese Government's top diplomat said after meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but added they did not address their trade war too specifically.

"Pressure and blackmail from the USA won't work", Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a briefing in Beijing, the New York Times reported.

The trade talks between Washington and Beijing have bogged down in recent weeks, a period in which the two nations have imposed reciprocal tariff hikes on various products.

Washington touted its initial tariffs as being carefully constructed to avoid having a big impact on USA consumers and companies, but the expansion of the tariff lists has drawn in more goods that can not be imported from outside China. It would also give Congress more oversight of the process.

In a sign the trade standoff is reverberating through Chinese politics, the Politburo signalled on Tuesday that policymakers will focus more on supporting economic growth amid risks from a campaign to reduce debt and the dispute with Trump. In a Washington press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte earlier this week, Donald Trump said that part of the US-EU trade talks sought to expand America's reach into the Europe's gas markets, which were catered by the Russians.

The move signalled displeasure among Mr Trump's own party over his protectionist actions, but chances of it becoming law were slim as Congress would likely need to override a presidential veto by Mr Trump.

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