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White House slaps 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods

30 May, 2018, 12:17 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Ivanka Trump applauds during the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report release at the State Department in Washington

After Beijing promised to retaliate in kind to any duties, the president raised the ante to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods.

President Trump said Tuesday that he would proceed with tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports and introduce new limits on Chinese investment in USA high-tech industries as part of a broad campaign to crack down on Chinese acquisition of US technology.

The China Daily newspaper said the repeated USA claim that Beijing had forced foreign firms to transfer their technologies to Chinese businesses was without evidence and was being used as an excuse to facilitate its trade protectionism. A delegation led by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is due to arrive Saturday in China.

The latest talks focus on USA claims of intellectual property theft by China.

Officials in the Trump administration have sought to distance ZTE from the trade talks, but the president previously linked the two issues.

According to AP, the official said the instructions also stated that Chinese citizens seeking visas would need special clearance from multiple US agencies if they work as researchers or managers for companies on a US Commerce Department list of entities needing higher scrutiny.

The White House statement also said the USA plans to continue litigation at the World Trade Organization for China's intellectual-property practices.




Specifics of the new limits will be announced by June 30 and will take effect "shortly thereafter", the White House said. It was one of the justifications the Trump administration used to propose tariffs at the time.

The decision comes after top administration officials have tried to dampen fears of a trade war.

But there had been some hope among free traders and the anti-tariff camp that the stiffer tariffs would ever ultimately go into effect after the two countries launched a trade dialogue earlier this month in Beijing.

The measures would in some cases cut short the amount of time that a Chinese citizen could stay in the USA and would be decided on a case-by-case basis, according to the official, who was granted anonymity to discuss the changes before they were announced.

The changes come as Trump seeks to crack down on China's trade practices, especially those related to cutting-edge industries that Beijing wants to dominate.

The White House issued a second statement listing the details of many complaints against China, including dumping of goods into the USA market at below market value, high tariffs and overcapacity - likely referring to steel and aluminum, which are subject to another set of harsh U.S. tariffs.

The Chinese government said the announcement "is obviously in violation of the consensus reached in Washington recently by both China and the United States". It says Beijing has the confidence, ability, and experience to safeguard its core interests. Trump has been criticized since the campaign for having no plausible proposal to distinguish his policymaking in office from his business activities, and that criticism has only increased since he moved into the White House. Trump is using trade negotiations to recoup the losses. Some, like Mr. Mnuchin, have focused on a potential compromise deal that would require China to buy huge amounts of American products while still forestalling the possibility of a trade war.

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