New tariffs readied for Chinese goods

New tariffs readied for Chinese goods

New tariffs readied for Chinese goods

China's Ministry of Commerce vowed to hit back at the latest tariffs on Wednesday, saying that it was "absolutely unacceptable" that the U.S. was escalating the situation.

In Beijing, Li Chenggang, assistant minister at China's Commerce Ministry, said that the latest USA proposals would hurt both countries and pointed to declines in Chinese export growth and overseas investment to the United States in the first half of this year.

Stocks fell and metals prices slumped to their lowest in a year on Wednesday, as USA threats of tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods pushed the world's two biggest economies ever closer to a full-scale trade war.

The Chinese government, however, called it "totally unacceptable" and said it would take unspecified countermeasures.

Goods to be targeted range from chemicals and construction materials to fabric and buttons to handbags and food products to boats and air conditioners - a sweeping inventory that would inflict economic pain across China's manufacturing sector while jacking up prices for US businesses and consumers.

Investors were wary of China response to the latest US tariff threat, as the country's assistant commerce minister said the proposed USA duties harm the World Trade Organization system and globalisation.

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"This act is typical trade bullying", a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

One reason why Wall Street is anxious: The People's Republic, which bought $154 billion in US imports previous year, is quickly running out of American products to hit with tariffs. Each side is mulling tariffs on a further $16 billion in goods that would bring the totals to $50 billion.

That intensification of the trade skirmish, which is now being upgraded to a full-scale trade war by some commentators, has investors spooked about the future of the global world order, and the global economy, pushing stock markets around the world deep into the red. That came four days after Washington added 25 per cent duties on US$34 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing responded by increasing taxes on the same amount of American imports.

President Donald Trump has threatened to tax as much as $US550 billion in Chinese products - an amount that exceeds America's total imports from China a year ago.

The tariffs could take effect after public consultations end on August 30, according to a statement from the U.S. Trade Representative's office Tuesday.

'Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach, ' Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch said.

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The US Chamber of Commerce has supported Trump's domestic tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, but it has been critical of Trump's aggressive tariff policies. "Tariffs threaten to boomerang on the very workers they're supposed to help, and will only further undermine the confidence manufacturers need to make investments in new equipment, facilities and people".

Analysts say a full-blown trade war with China could wound the U.S.in several ways.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) was quick to condemn the proposal, saying it will punish American consumers.

A senior administration official told Fox News that China has been "non-responsive" to USA actions and has insisted that Beijing does not see any way America has been hurt by Chinese policies.

This dispute comes alongside the USA confrontation with other allies and major trading partners including Canada, Mexico and the European Union, for the steep tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum.

This will allow the two countries enough time to settle their high-stakes trade dispute through negotiations.

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