USA to apply more pressure on China with new tariff hike

The Trump administration had initially announced a 10 percent tariff

President Trump has instructed U.S. trade representatives to increase the tariffs it levies on around $200 billion of Chinese exports, from 10% to 25%, citing China's failure to address USA concerns over "unfair trading practices" that include "forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft".

One person familiar with the internal deliberations said the U.S.is trying to secure certain concessions and if China agrees, it is possible the US would back off additional tariffs.

Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth, and prominent USA business groups have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing that US pressure on trade won't work, and that Beijing has always upheld using dialogue to resolve trade issues.

But what exactly prompted Trump to push for the sharp reset in Chinese tariffs?

The Trump administration has already imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods and duties on an additional $16 billion worth are expected soon.

Trump has threatened to escalate the conflict even more by taxing virtually all of the $500 billion worth of goods China ships annually to the United States.

China has announced retaliatory tariffs on $US60 billion ($81b) worth of USA goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft and warned of further measures, signalling it will not back down in a protracted trade war with Washington.

President Donald Trump requested the US Trade Representative explore the option to hit $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to the US with a 25% tariff.

More news: Trump claims shoppers need to show ID to buy groceries

And last week President Donald Trump announced a cease-fire in a potentially destructive dispute with the European Union over trade in cars, trucks and auto parts.

In addition to the tariffs now in place, the Trump administration has proposed an additional 10 percent tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of imports from China. "The U.S. unilaterally exerting pressure on China will get the opposite of what it wants", he said. "Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against USA workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses", Lighthizer said.

The public comment period on the U.S. tariffs aimed at $200 billion ends August 30 after public hearings August 20-23, according to the U.S. Trade Representative's office. At a campaign rally in Florida Tuesday night, Mr. Trump said China's response targeting USA farmers has been "not nice".

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will fight back should the USA further increase tariffs.

There have been no formal talks between Washington and Beijing for weeks over Trump's demands that China make fundamental changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, technology transfers and subsidies for high technology industries.

Mr Trump's threats of higher tariffs weighed on China's financial markets.

The United States has imposed tariffs on other nations too, including Canada and Mexico, Washington's partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Asked about communication between the two countries on the dispute, Geng said China had "always upheld using dialogue and consultations to handle trade frictions", but that dialogue must be based on mutual respect and equality.

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