Trump administration announces $US200 billion in extra China tariffs

Trump Announces New Taxes on TVs and Air Conditioners

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Beijing gave no details of the possible retaliation but earlier it threatened "comprehensive measures". USA officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified.

The spiraling conflict over Chinese technology policy threatens to chill global economic growth.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobbying group, said USA businesses and consumers will lose from the administration's trade battle.

President Donald Trump has said he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $US500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of USA imports from China previous year.

The abrupt escalation is "totally unacceptable", the Chinese commerce ministry said.

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The Chinese government went on to paint itself a defender of free trade, urging the international community to "work together" to protect a global commerce flow that has brought wealth to nations worldwide. "We have been very clear and detailed regarding the specific changes China should undertake", highlighted Lighthizer. Beijing has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar.

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 a year ago.

With the publication in the Federal Register, the administration will have a public hearing August 20, 2018, followed by a two-month consultation on these proposed tariffs, after which the tariffs could be imposed in September.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association said Trump's move would negatively impact consumers in the U.S.

The list of proposed goods to be hit with new tariffs includes dozens of types of fish, eels, crab, lobster and other seafood.

That "will hit the Chinese export sector hard", said Rajiv Biswas of IHS Markit in a report. That's why Trump can slap tariffs on them just because he feels like it. "China is shocked by the irrational movement of the US".

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The Commerce Ministry on Wednesday gave no details, but Beijing responded to last week's US tariff hike on $34 billion of imports from China by increasing its own duties on the same amount of American goods.

China hit back with its own levies - targeting USA products such as mixed nuts and whiskey. However, Beijing has other ways to disrupt American companies' operations. Regulators can deny or cancel licenses or tie up companies by launching tax, environmental or anti-monopoly investigations.

There has even been speculation that China could sell some of the $1 trillion worth of United States government debt (or bonds) that it holds. "The negative impact of the trade friction has already appeared". There was no separate forecast on China's trade surplus with the United States which has continued to grow even as its total surplus has narrowed over the last two years.

Members of Congress are increasingly questioning Trump's tactics.

One problem for Beijing is that it imports far less from the USA than it exports - much to the annoyance of Donald Trump - and that gives it less scope to retaliate - they may run out of American goods to penalise.

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