China vows retaliation for latest U.S. tariff threat

US prepares to impose new tariffs on additional $200B worth of Chinese goods

USA president Donald Trump has threatened higher tariffs on more than 500 billion dollars (£377 billion) of goods, or almost all of China's annual exports to the United States.

Items on the proposed list of goods include consumer products such as clothing, television components and refrigerators as well as other high-tech items, but it omitted some high-profile products like mobile phones.

Shanghai markets were hardest hit overnight, with stocks there down nearly 2 per cent and the yuan weakening towards last week's 11-month lows, down 0.4 per cent to 6.66 per dollar. Such a move could have a materially negative effect on U.S. stocks, Capital Economics says.

Associations of U.S. manufacturers, retailers, and petroleum and chemicals producers have stepped up calls on the U.S. Administration to seek alternative solutions to the tariffs, warning that additional levies would hurt U.S.jobs and growth.

The economic impact of the conflict already is spreading.

"The latest list of $200 billion of products to be subject to tariffs against China doubles down on a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm USA families and workers".

South Korea's trade ministry said the trade war could be "prolonged and spread", adding that it would prepare responses and scenarios to cope with the economic impact of the trade row. They have given no indication when they might meet again.

The Trump administration said the new levies are a response to China's decision to retaliate against the first round of USA tariffs.

Investor confidence started to return early this week amid a momentary lull in the trade war, following Beijing's retaliation tariffs on USA imports last week after Trump hit China with a 25 per cent tariff worth $34bn on imports.

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China has yet to say how it will respond after the fresh round of US tariffs would bring to $250 billion the total of Chinese goods impacted, once the latest list of duties take effect after a two-month comment period.

Trump has said continuously that China has taken advantage of the United States economy, and he has vowed to hit almost all the country's products with tariffs, as much as $450bn.

"Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch in a statement.

On the other hand, the European Union is doubling down on American Whiskey to respond against trade tariffs.

He said: "Chinese equities were amongst the worst performers today, with the Shanghai Composite dropping 1.8% after the US Trade Representative set out the $200bn of Chinese imports on which it intends to impose a 10% tariff".

The previous round of tariffs: The Trump administration last week imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 million in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to impose retaliatory tariffs of the same amount on United States imports. The first round of tariffs covered Chinese products ranging from farming plows to machine tools and communications satellites. "As an industry that touches 96 percent of all manufactured goods and which has much to gain from a productive, respectful trading relationship with China, ACC and our members remain hopeful that the US and China can resolve their differences and prevent further harm to USA manufacturers, farmers, and consumers". Each side is mulling tariffs on a further $16 billion in goods that would bring the totals to $50 billion. China has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar to any further USA tariffs.

While Korean-made autos are exempt from U.S. duties under the bilateral trade pact implemented in 2012, market watchers say new tariffs of 25 percent could deal a heavy blow to local manufacturers and parts makers.

"The last thing America's manufacturing workers need is an escalating trade war", said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. According to UBS, the new tariffs were structured to allow for fast implementation, and the bank said it's now likely the USA will follow through on its threat. These tactics include the outright theft of trade secrets, government subsidies to homegrown tech firms and demands that USA and other foreign companies hand over technology if they want access to China's vast market.

Last week when the US imposed tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in Chinese goods, China matched that with its own tariffs.

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