Trump going ahead with taxes on $16B in Chinese imports

Trump going ahead with taxes on $16B in Chinese imports

Customs officials will begin collecting the border tax August 23, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said. The new list covers products ranging from motorcycles to steam turbines and railway cars.

The new tariffs, the latest in the ongoing trade spat between USA and China, target industrial supplies, chemicals, motorcycles, tractors and tractor parts, rail cars, auto parts, some iron and steel, motor and machine components and more. But it held off on a final $16 billion as a result of concerns raised by USA companies.

On July 6, the US began taxing the 818 goods, worth $34 billion, remaining from the April list.

The total could increase soon. Those duties could be in place after a comment period ends on 6 September.

USA president Donald Trump has threatened to target all $500bn of Chinese imports.

In a sign there may be more difficulties ahead, a private survey last week found that the business outlook among Chinese services firms was the second-weakest on record in July in part due worries about the trade war.

The Chinese government said in a statement Wednesday that the taxes would be imposed on August 23.

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China's exports to the United States rose 13.3 percent in the first seven months of 2018 from a year earlier, compared with a 13.5 percent rise in Jan-June.

Economists say China appears to be taking a more hands-off approach to the yuan, which marked its worst 4-month fall on record between April and July and has provided some reprieve for exporters in the face of the rising trade tensions. While there's no major risk of the world lapsing into "damaging stagflation", the possibility remains of a "bigger blow-up" that sharply reduces trade, as in the 1930s, it said.

Chinese state media has said Beijing will not be cowed by Washington's threats.

The US and China have been trying to restart high-level talks that broke off after Trump followed through on his tariff threats.

China's closely watched surplus with the United States dipped only slightly to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June.

And the conflict is likely to escalate: The administration is preparing tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese products.

Trump's mission to reduce the USA trade deficit via the threat of tariffs has brought him into conflict with China as well as U.S. allies, roiling financial markets and raising fears of a global trade war the International Monetary Fund has warned may undermine the strongest economic upswing in years.

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