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U.S. sets date for additional $16bn in tariffs on China products

08 August, 2018, 16:52 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • A Chinese worker looks on as a cargo ship is loaded at a port in Qingdao Shandong Province

"With each successive round of tariffs, Trump continues to back China into a corner, forcing Beijing to respond in kind", said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of global law firm Perkins Coie and a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

All in all, China's trade surplus with the United States shrank to $28.08 billion in July against $28.97 billion in the previous month.

The duties are part of a broader round of tariffs on $50bn worth of goods the U.S. announced in March.

The world's two biggest economies are caught up in a trade dispute over Washington's allegations that China uses predatory tactics, including outright cybertheft, in a drive to supplant US technological supremacy.

This latest round makes good on the president's promise in June to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion in Chinese goods.

Although the move was expected, it cements the view that there appears to be no effort underway to defuse the dispute between the world's two largest economies.

"Looking ahead, we expect export growth to cool in the coming months, though this will primarily reflect softer global growth rather than USA tariffs, the direct impact of which will continue to be mostly offset by the renminbi's (yuan's) recent depreciation", Capital Economics' Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note.

"There is no off-ramp, and Trump has given China little wiggle room to save face and come to the bargaining table", he said.

This is the first release of export numbers since tariffs went into effect on July 6.

Washington and Beijing are locked in battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, and especially from the theft of American technological know-how.

The surplus with the United States was higher than China's overall trade surplus in July, which was $28.05 billion, indicating China ran a net trade deficit with the world excluding the U.S.

World financial markets have taken a battering in recent months as fears grow that Trump's "America First" policies could derail a global economic revival.

All China's main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled "declaration", on their front pages.

Trump's mission to reduce the USA trade deficit via the threat of tariffs has brought him into conflict with China as well as United States allies, roiling financial markets and raising fears of a global trade war the International Monetary Fund has warned may undermine the strongest economic upswing in years.

The administration is readying tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese products.

The Office United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced the tariffs in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon US time.

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