USA imposes new tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods

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

President Trump, emboldened by the United States' economic strength and China's slowdown, escalated his trade war Monday, saying the United States would impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as punishment over Beijing's trade practices.

Collection of tariffs on the long-anticipated list will start September 24 but the rate will increase to 25 percent by the end of 2018, allowing USA companies some time to adjust their supply chains to alternate countries, a senior administration official said.

If Beijing retaliates against USA farmers and industry - as it has previously vowed - the United States 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.

The list slated for tariffs originally included more than 6000 items, but U.S. officials said they had removed about 300 types of items. But the White House said last week it could go ahead and impose tariffs on a further $267 billion of Chinese trade if it retaliates again.

Distance Beijing Heaping more duties on Chinese goods will only further distance Beijing from resolving the conflict through a negotiated solution, said one of the people.

After several weeks of reviewing industry comments, the Trump administration announced on Monday afternoon the final list of Chinese goods set to be subjected to tariffs, effective September 24.

If China then slaps tariffs on another $60 billion in U.S. goods, this will bring total United States exports subject to Beijing's retaliation to $110 billion, at 2017 sales levels.

'Tariffs have put the U.S.in 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.

President Donald Trump's expected announcement of new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods drew an immediate threat of reprisals from Beijing.

The lack of unity within the U.S. administration on trade isn't new - Chinese and American officials have held a series of talks over the dispute, and reached at least one agreement which was subsequently abandoned by the president.

USTR has removed about 300 product categories from tariff list and has cut some subsets of products, but total value still "approximately $200 billion".

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This corroborates earlier reports from Monday, which cited an anonymous senior administration official.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association pointed out that the new tariffs would still hit more than $1bn worth of gas grills from China, $843m worth of luggage and travel bags, $825m worth of mattresses, and $1.9bn worth of vacuum cleaners.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the USA will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower U.S. growth and competitiveness and higher prices for United States consumers", Apple said in a letter.

"China may potentially pull out of trade talks entirely and escalate on the new front of outright export restrictions", analysts at JPMorgan told clients.

Trump has also complained about America's massive trade deficit - $336 billion previous year - with China, its biggest trading partner.

In theory, the tariffs will make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, and so encourage consumers to buy American. We should be talking with them, not merely sitting back and observing.

The statements come as relations between the USA and China appear to strain. The price of washing machines in the U.S.

Harley-Davidson will have to bump up the Chinese price of its iconic motorbikes at least 20 percent, a store representative in Beijing said.

"Attempts to help those hurt by globalisation via higher tariffs or other forms of protectionism, even if well-meaning, will raise prices and hurt all consumers, especially poor and middle-class families", said economist Satyam Panday of S&P Global Ratings. The Apple products on the list reportedly included the Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, the HomePod smart speaker, AirPods and various chargers, cables and adapters.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) has said the moves could hit a "wide range" of its products.

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