China retaliates immediately after United States announces tariffs

President Donald Trump speaking at a rally at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville Tennesse

President Donald Trump speaking at a rally at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville Tennesse

Trump's approval to impose tariffs on Chinese exports followed a 90-minute meeting he had with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer yesterday.

The tariffs cover 1,102 separate product categories, according to a list from the US Trade Representatives Office.

Trump previously imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico, a move that drew strong rebukes from US allies.

Trump's China trade offensive is only one side of his multifront trade confrontation with all major United States economic partners. Some products were taken off the preliminary list but none were added, said one of the people familiar with the decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the action before its announcement. "They're saying, 'We're going to tax exports from China where they want to be a global superpower'". The countries said in a joint statement that China would "significantly increase" purchases of U.S. agricultural and energy products to reduce the trade imbalance, a top Trump administration demand. That includes a tentative deal to increase Chinese purchases of U.S. energy and agricultural goods.

All trade talks between China and the U.S. would be void if Washington imposed trade sanctions, he added. The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal were among the publications reporting overnight that Trump, fresh from his return from the Singapore Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has chose to enact significant tariffs on Chinese goods.

However many economists and businesses in the USA say the tariffs are likely to hurt some of the sectors the administration is trying to protect, which depend on China for parts or assembly.

China's heavily regulated economy also gives the ruling Communist Party additional options for retaliation by withholding approval for business activity.

Economists estimate that the tariffs will hurt GDP by less than half of a percentage point.

United States officials say Beijing has sought industrial dominance in the emerging technologies through the theft of American know-how through forced technology transfers, hacking and other forms industrial espionage.

While the USTR has claimed the tariffs would not affect consumer goods, the advocacy group Information Technology Industry Council claims the higher tariffs could drive up the price end users will pay for things like printers, phones, and TV sets.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that it is hard to predict how the measures will affect business and consumer confidence.

Stock markets fell after the announcements amid fear of a trade war. The list released on Friday is slightly shorter, incorporating feedback and criticism received in the ensuing weeks.

A second list, which ranges from chemicals and plastics to motorcycles and technical equipment worth some $16 billion, is made up of proposed items - and will not be finalized until after a public hearing. A senior Trump administration official told reporters that companies will be able to apply for exclusions for Chinese imports they can not source elsewhere. Does that sound like free or fair trade.

"China is our real trade enemy, and their theft of intellectual property and their refusal to let our companies compete fairly threatens millions of future American jobs", Schumer said in a statement.

The irony for Gordon and others in Minnesota's massive agriculture sector is that Trump's protective tariffs could cut significantly into the trade surplus that they worked hard to develop, leaving the country with an even larger overall trade deficit.

China has previously threatened to buy Airbus planes instead of Boeing jets if the United States steps out of line on trade.

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