China slaps 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of United States goods

US tariffs make no dent on China exports surge

China said this week it would slap additional 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion worth of USA imports in retaliation against levies on Chinese goods imposed by the United States.

China announces it will hit the United States with tariffs on $60 billion of USA exports covering 5,200 products in response to Trump's decision to raise the tariff.

Thirty-four days ago, the USA officially began taxing $34 billion in Chinese imports - and China immediately responded with reciprocal tariffs, thus kicking off day 1 of the U.S.

Beijing in return has threatened to impose a 25% tariff on US LNG imports, and it plans to target crude oil products and a raft of other commodities.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has finalised tariffs on nearly $16 billion worth of Chinese imports, in response to what it insists are "unfair trade practices".

China's exports to the United States surged last month, shrugging off President Trump's tariff hike in a dispute over technology.

"The impact of tariffs on exports is yet to be reflected". As Beijing has matched Washington's tariffs, $100 billion worth of trade between the United States and China will now be subject to the tariff hike.

But things have changed since trade tensions with the US escalated in recent weeks and some have questioned if Beijing's move will hit American gas exports.

The latest move could potentially hurt the surging natural gas trade between the USA and China, where gas demand is growing fast and the country has already overtaken Japan to become the world's top gas importer. Tariffs raise prices, which either comes out of business profit margins or consumer pockets, leaving less money for other things.

China's refined products exports last month were 4.57 million tonnes, almost flat from a year earlier. Trump has had a one-track mind on the China trade issue for more than a decade, having famously said that if he was ever the president he would "tariff the hell" out of them.

USTR Robert Lighthizer says, "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 and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens".

"China's yuan gave up earlier gains that came after the central bank was said to have met with major lenders to emphasize currency stability, while mainland stocks fell following their best day in more than two years".

The unusually strong July import figures reflected higher prices, according to Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics.

In general, Chinese imports jumped 27.3% compared to July 2017, beating the + 16.5% expected by the market, while exports rose 12.2% (consensus + 10%), with the resulting worsening of the overall trade balance. Chinese state media has hit back at the light of the levies that have been threatened, saying the Asian nation would retaliate.

"Import growth is likely to slow as domestic headwinds continue to weigh on economic activity".

China's global trade surplus narrowed by 40 per cent from a year earlier to $28 billion. That leaves about $20 billion for penalty tariffs after increases either imposed or threatened on a total of $110 billion of USA goods are counted.

Take the list of 16 billion dollars' worth of Chinese exports to the United States as an example.

Beijing has stepped up efforts, so far without success, to recruit governments including Germany and France as allies.

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