China says Trump forces its hand, will retaliate against new US tariffs

China warns it has no choice but to retaliate against the latest round of US tariffs but did not specify how. — Reuters pic

The administration also threatened to pursue additional tariffs on $267 billion worth of Chinese goods, if Beijing retaliates against American farmers or other us industries.

The new round of tariffs will take effect on September 24 at a 10 percent level and rise to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.

The United States has announced fresh tariffs on $200 billion (€171 billion) of Chinese goods, spooking markets anxious about an escalating tit-for-tat trade war between the world's largest economies.

In announcing the US tariffs against China on Monday, President Trump said China's trade practices, such as forcing USA companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms, "plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy".

China will levy tariffs on about $60 billion worth of USA goods in retaliation for the latest round of US tariffs on Chinese products, as previously planned, but has reduced the level of tariffs that it will collect on the products.

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

The US imported around $500 billion worth of products from China a year ago, compared to $130 billion in US goods imported by the Asian country.

The administration since July has already slapped 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, sparking immediate in-kind retaliation.

The ultra-nationalist group in the administration, led by Peter Navarro, Director of the National Trade Council and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, believes that the USA will win a trade war with China.

United States industries have generally opposed tariffs, arguing they increase prices for consumers and could hurt economic growth. "I urge China's leaders to take swift action to end their country's unfair trade practices".

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday the next step on holding "constructive negotiations" was up to China.

Ahead of Trump's tariff announcement late Monday, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the United States was still willing to continue its dialogue with China. - From Harley-Davidson motorcycles and USA bourbon to Chinese parts and machinery, the world's two largest economies have exchanged punitive tariffs that slice through a wide swath of products.

In a letter to the USA trade representative, Dell, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise said that tariffs on of their networking equipment could hurt their bottom lines and lead to possible United States job losses. It could offset the new tariffs by allowing it to drift lower, although further and significant depreciation would risk triggering an exodus of capital.

In a filing with the government, for instance, Giant Bicycles Inc. of Newbury Park, California, noting that 94 per cent of imported bicycles came from China previous year, complained that "there is no way our business can shift its supply chain to a new market" to avoid the tariffs and warned "a tariff increase of this magnitude will inevitably be paid for by the American consumer".

"There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!"

Its decision to retaliate against the latest salvo from Trump raises the prospect of further escalation in the trade war.

Mr Trump signed the first order applying tariffs on £38bn ($50bn) on Chinese good on March 22.

Trump added. Trump won the 2016 presidential contest with strong support from those farmers and blue-collar voters. It has weakened by about 6.0 percent since mid-June, offsetting the 10 percent tariff rate by a considerable margin.

"We have a trade deficit, depending on the way you calculate, of $504 billion, now some people would say it is really $375 billion", Trump said at the time.

U.S. companies have already said they are anxious about the effect of higher costs on their businesses.

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