Trump to impose tariffs on $50 bn in Chinese imports: White House

"President Donald Trump's announcement of tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods markedly ratchets up the trade tensions", Bloomberg economist Tom Orlik wrote in a note.

China's move comes after US President Donald Trump on Thursday directed the trade representative to level tariffs on almost $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Stock markets fell sharply on Trump's announcement, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling almost 3 per cent.

That measure had not targeted Chinese imports alone.

A day after he initiated a series of tough actions against "unfair" Chinese trade practices, inviting retaliation by Beijing, Trump exuded confidence that the steps would end up with China fairly treating America. "And even beyond that, there's simply no excuse for the stealing of intellectual property, forced technology transfers it's sometimes called". "We still cherish the multilateral trading system very much, although there's a flavor of trade war in the air". "We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on" with China affecting hundreds of billions of dollars in trade each year, he said.

Jim Sutter, chief executive of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, said it would not be a surprise for Chinese crushers and importers to make emergency plans.

"China does not want to fight a trade war, but it is absolutely not afraid of a trade war", the commerce ministry said.

Thursday, President Donald Trump has ordered more tariffs, specifically on Chinese goods.

"We will implement the "Made in China 2025" strategy, seek innovation-driven development, apply smart technologies, strengthen foundations, pursue green development and redouble our efforts to upgrade China from a manufacturer of quantity to one of quality", Li said in his 2015 annual government work report. "Trump is using the issue for political gain rather than actual trade repositioning", he says.

"It will lead to quite the opposite", added Francois, a former acting director of economics for the U.S. International Trade Commission who has worked with the WTO. The order also directs the US Treasury to develop new proposals to increase safeguards against Chinese investments in the US that could compromise national security.

The US debt that China buys helps finance the rising federal government deficit.

The US also launched a complaint against China at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today.

Amid the looming threat of a trade war escalation, the World Trade Organization's Director-General Roberto Azevedo urged the sides to talk, warning that there will be "no winners" in this confrontation. "This could disrupt global supply chains and damage investor sentiment", said Dario Perkins, head of global macroeconomics research at TS Lombard, a London-based economic consultancy.

The list announced Friday was linked to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, but companies already were looking ahead to a battle over complaints Beijing steals or forces companies to hand over technology. A second list of goods including wine, apples, ethanol and stainless steel pipe would be charged 15 percent, mirroring Trump's tariff hike on aluminum. "As America's third largest and most rapidly growing export market and as the largest foreign owner of Treasuries, China has considerably more leverage over the US than Washington politicians care to admit".

  • Leroy Wright