US Tariffs Now Include Wireless Routers, China Responds

The Associated Press reported that the Chinese government announced a "tariff hike on $60B of us products in response to Trump duty increase in technology dispute".

There is a growing view in Beijing that US President Donald Trump has no intention of doing a deal with China on trade.

The two countries have already imposed import taxes on $50 billion worth of each other's goods.

China's foreign ministry vowed on Monday to strike back if Trump presses ahead with plans to impose duties on another $200bn in Chinese imports, which would leave around half of everything the United States buys from China subject to tariffs.

"If the USA launches any new tariff measures, China will have to take countermeasures to firmly ensure our legitimate rights and interests", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a regular press briefing on Monday. The Trade Department included Apple Watches and AirPods on a list of 300 products exempt from the tariffs, according to the Wall Street Journal. But he said the administration should have enlisted support from other major trading partner, such as the European Union, Canada and Mexico, and presented Beijing with a united front.

The Chinese government said on Tuesday it would take "synchronised counter measures" in response to the USA actions.

The latest USA duties spared smart watches from Apple (AAPL.O) and Fitbit (FIT.N) and other consumer products such as baby auto seats. Cook's visit was followed by a letter from Apple to U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer requesting the government seek other policies to address trade issues.

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With the Republicans lagging well behind the Democrats in generic polls there is a growing likelihood of a split Congress - House controlled by Democrats and Senate controlled by Republicans, Trump may increasingly be limited to executive powers, which include trade.

Tim Stratford, former assistant US trade representative and managing partner of the global law firm Covington's Beijing office, predicted at a World Economic Forum panel in Tianjin on Tuesday that the conflict would see no victor soon.

"China needs to show that it will stand up to Trump and the United States in order to demonstrate to the rest of the world that it is now America's rival", said Shaun Rein, managing director at the China Market Research Group in Shanghai.

In the minutes of its recent meeting, the Reserve Bank board cited the US-China trade war and said there were "significant tensions around global trade policy and that this represented a material risk to the outlook". The U.S. says the plans are based on stolen technology, violate China's market-opening commitments and might erode American industrial leadership.

He said: "President Trump is a hard-hitting businessman, and he tries to put pressure on China so he can get concessions from our negotiations".

By expanding the list to $200 billion of Chinese products, Trump may spread the pain to ordinary households. The administration is targeting a variety of products - from sockeye salmon to bamboo mats - forcing US companies to scramble for suppliers outside China, absorb the import taxes or pass along the burden to their customers.

Trump has reversed decades of USA policy in favor of ever-freer trade.

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