Trump hits China with tariffs on another $200b in goods

The Donald Trump administration is for the first time publicly planning for a trade spat that drags into 2019 and possibly beyond

USA stock futures and Asian shares fell on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he will impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, in a sharp escalation of the trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies The tariffs will be set at 10 percent.

In a statement, Trump said the tariffs will take effect on September 24, at 10 percent until the end of the year, when they will rise to 25 percent.

If Beijing retaliates against United States farmers and industry - as it has previously vowed - the U.S. will immediately pursue further tariffs on about $267 billion of Chinese imports, President Donald Trump said in a statement Monday evening, repeating a threat he made earlier this month.

Trump defended his policies in an early-morning tweet on Monday, writing: "Tariffs have put the a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been nearly unnoticeable".

Trump said China had refused to change the unfair practices that hurt U.S. businesses and workers.

Taken together, it means roughly half of the products that China sells to the United States each year will be hit by American tariffs.

The BBC's Asia business correspondent Karishma Vaswani said the escalating trade war between the two countries is in part due to a lack of understanding of the other's position.

The administration's proposal for the tariffs on US$200 billion (S$247 billion) of products drew protest from technology companies earlier this year, but the final list of taxed devices described by the official avoids many big consumer brand names and products.

China has matched previous tariff moves dollar for dollar, but the number of USA goods to tax is dwindling because, for many years, it has imported only about one-quarter as much as it exports to the United States.

The US imports around $500 billion in goods from China.

Trump already has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods.

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The move is said to be aimed at raising pressure on China ahead of bilateral talks Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin is believed be organising, but it might not work.

"We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly". That is below the 25 percent the administration said it was considering for this possible round of tariffs.

In fact, tariffs are taxes that are paid by Americans who import goods from overseas. This has raised concerns that China could retaliate with non-tariff trade measures.

According to a statement on the Ministry of Commerce website, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan held talks with representatives from six multinationals on Monday, promising them that China's market would be more open to them and that Beijing would enhance intellectual property protection.

If tariffs are imposed on the cranes, it could cost the port an additional $10m and put the port infrastructure at risk, Reinhart had testified in Washington in August at hearings on the tariffs.

The tough talk and fear of more tariffs and retaliation rattled investors and sent indexes dropping. "If countries will not make fair deals with us, they will be 'Tariffed!'".

Other commentators have suggested Beijing use its holdings of US government debt or target American companies in China. Japan has informed the WTO that it plans to impose retaliatory measures on U.S. goods to the tune of 50 billion yen (US$455 million). "The unilateral and hegemonic moves by the U.S. will meet firm countermeasures from China.China will not just play defense", the Global Times says. "And it was not under Bush", said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute.

Some domestic manufacturers of bikes and accessories support the latest round of tariffs, especially in light of the March tariffs on steel and aluminum, which benefitted their competitors who imported complete products.

"Make your products in the United States instead of China".

USA officials say those violate Beijing's market-opening commitments and worry they might erode United States industrial leadership.

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