Trump's China tariffs cause trade concern

In addition to punitive tariffs, Trump's memo also directed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to challenge China's technology licensing programmes at the World Trade Organization.

While the administration has yet to release the list of goods covered by the proposed duties, which could affect up to $60 billion in imports, a senior official indicated that it will center on high-tech products.

The administration is also trying to find a way to reduce the US trade deficit with China, which was about $375 billion past year. Chinese operations of foreign companies generate about 60% of China's trade surplus, according to the Commerce Ministry.

A 25 percent tariff would be imposed on eight goods worth nearly $2bn after "further evaluating the impact of the U.S. measures on China", the statement by the Ministry of Commerce said.

"We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on", Trump told reporters.

On Friday, the Chinese commerce ministry said China will levy duties on up to $3 billion of USA imports in response to the steel and aluminum tariffs, which appeared modest by comparison to the US penalties.

According to estimates by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a USA technology policy think tank, a 25-percent tariff on Chinese information and communications technology (ICT) imports would cost the US economy 332 billion dollars over the next 10 years. Two weeks ago, with fanfare, he announced major penalty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that he said threatened national security.

"The scale of the trade war would be broadened".

Trump has taken a simplistic view of the trade relationship, the 72-year-old Kennedy told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Thursday. "But the contrast between China's growth and its unfair trade practices, and what had happened to the USA in terms of growth and wage growth, is quite startling", the official said. Next week alone, the set to sell $30 billion of two-year notes, the most for that maturity since 2014.

Trump's China tariffs cause trade concern

"Until the Trump administration articulates those concerns and how China can address them, it's going to be very, very hard for China to make those changes", said Parker.

The United States had a record $375.2 billion goods trade deficit with China a year ago.

Senior White House economic advisor Everett Eissenstat said the new duties would target sectors where "China has sought to acquire an advantage through the unfair acquisition or forced technology transfer from USA companies". "This includes working closely with our global partners to identify unfair trade barriers and practices that China must remove, setting deadlines for such reforms and outlining actions that the U.S. will take if those reforms are not undertaken", it said.

China plans to take legal action against the USA under the World Trade Organization framework, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement March 23. The risk now is that other countries might likewise sidestep the WTO and slap their own tariffs in retaliation, further undermining the WTO.

Policy makers across the world are warning of a brewing trade war that could undermine the broadest global recovery in years.

The United States has chose to exempt the European Union and six other countries from the steel and aluminium tariffs.

- Pain for United States consumers? This restrictive trade policy will not only undercut U.S. agricultural exports and economic growth, but will also cause undue harm to America's agricultural communities, which will likely bear the brunt of China's retaliatory measures.

China's response Friday appeared to be aimed at increasing domestic USA pressure on Trump by making clear which exporters, including farm areas that voted for him in 2016, might be hurt.

Chinese officials strongly condemned the move. A second list of goods, including wine, apples, ethanol and stainless steel pipe, would be charged 15 per cent, mirroring Trump's tariff hike on aluminum. For the first time since the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier is paying a visit to a Vietnamese port, seeking to bolster both countries' efforts to stem expansionism by China in the South China Sea.

  • Kara Saunders