U.S. Poised to Publish $200 Billion China Tariff List

In Hong Kong and China where many suppliers to US retailing giants are based shares of companies in affected sectors fell. — Reuters pic

The US on Tuesday published a list of $200 billion (€170 billion) worth of Chinese goods that could soon be hit with tariffs. Any new tariffs would likely not be finalized until after August 30th.

The Trump administration on July 6 imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion in Chinese imports, the first time the president has implemented tariffs directly on Beijing after threatening to do so for months.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

This has raised concerns that China could retaliate with non-tariff trade measures.

Chinese tariffs have already taken a toll on US exports such as soybeans, which raises questions about the possible political repercussions President Trump could face from farmers who supported him in the 2016 election.

All told, Trump has threatened eventually to slap tariffs on up to $550 billion in Chinese imports - more than China actually exported to the United States a year ago - if Beijing won't relent to USA pressure and continues to retaliate. But China only bought about $135 billion in USA goods a year ago, meaning it will run out of American products to tax before it matches Trump's latest move.

The goal is to bring the total amount of Chinese imports up to 40 per cent of the total imported from the Asian power, since the U.S. products hit by Beijing's retaliation represent that share of exports, an official told reporters in a conference call. They target baseball gloves, handbags and digital cameras, among other goods. They are meant to put pressure on China to stop stealing USA companies' trade secrets and forcing them to hand over intellectual property to Chinese firms as a condition of doing business there.

China's retaliation to those measures was "without any worldwide legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said Tuesday.

While China's theft and coercion of intellectual property from foreign companies is a widely acknowledged problem, trade experts are largely skeptical of Mr. Trump's strategy to deal with it through punitive tariffs.

President Donald Trump has threatened to tax as much as $550 billion in Chinese products - an amount that exceeds America's total imports from China previous year.

"I'm not sure that Trump feels pressure".

The official said the decision was not final and that the list of Chinese goods would not become final until after the public had a chance to comment.

"For companies that are severely impacted, we suggest they report to local government departments", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement Monday. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour".

The Washington Post's Danielle Paquette reported from Beijing.

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