Trade war Round 2? USA threatens new tariffs on China

Trump Announces New Taxes on TVs and Air Conditioners

Automaker BMW said Monday July 9, 2018, it will have to raise prices on the USA -built SUVs it sells in China due to 40 percent import tax on cars from the United States, in retaliation for higher tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by President Donald Trump.

But Trump has said continuously that China has taken advantage of the US economy, and he has vowed to hit almost all the country's products with tariffs, as much as $450 billion. Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of goods in response to complaints Beijing is hurting American companies by stealing or pressuring enterprises to hand over technology.

The list names more than 6,000 items including food products, minerals and consumer goods such as handbags. However, China has vowed to match every tariff tit-for-tat, and will likely follow through.

"The outburst of large-scale mutual levying of tariffs between China and the United States will inevitably destroy Sino-US trade", assistant minister of commerce Li Chenggang told a forum in Beijing on Wednesday.

The office will accept public comments and hold hearings on the plan between August 20 and 23 before reaching a decision after August 31, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch called it "reckless", adding that the tariffs were "not a targeted approach".

On top of the $34bn worth of tariffs that came into effect on Friday last week, the White House has said it would consult on tariffs on another $16bn of products.

China's government has criticised the latest USA threat of a tariff hike as "totally unacceptable" and vowed to retaliate in their escalating trade war.

The planned new tariffs follow the 25 percent imposed on $34 billion in Chinese products, which Beijing responded to by hitting the same amount of US imports. Because China imports fewer goods from the US than the USA imports from China, it is unable to match US tariffs in value, according to a report from Mizuho Bank. "There is no justification for such action", Mr Lighthizer said.

Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based Head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics, said while he expects China to strongly condemn the USA moves, its policy response is likely to be limited for now.

The heightened trade tensions pose risks to South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, as both the United States and China are the country's major trading partners.

"Trump's escalation of trade hostilities makes it increasingly hard to envision an exit path from an all-out trade war". This will allow the two countries enough time to settle their high-stakes trade dispute through negotiations.

And now China is ready to slap tariffs on American goods like French doors.

"China has no option but to fight fire with fire". "For over a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition". "So, now he's fighting two wars and that's a bit complicated", Tal said.

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