China sets retaliatory tariffs on US$60 billion in US goods

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

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

Beijing's statement came hours after Trump imposed 10 per cent tariffs on about US$200 billion (RM827.8 billion) worth of imports from China, and threatened duties on about $267 billion more if China hit back on the latest USA action.

The new tariffs will be effective starting September 24 and initially will be in the amount of 10 percent.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday that new US tariffs on China are aimed at modifying Beijing's behavior and leveling the playing field for American companies competing there.

Mr Trump has threatened to target all $500bn (£380bn) of Chinese imports unless Beijing agrees to sweeping changes to its intellectual property practices and what his administration alleges are unfair trade practices.

China has already imposed retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion worth of United States goods in response to Washington's previous measures. "But at this time, everything the USA does is not giving the impression of sincerity or goodwill", said spokesperson Geng Shuang.

Only last week, Beijing said it welcomed overtures from United States officials offering to re-start trade talks, but press reports indicate China would call off any meetings if the new punitive duties take effect. The bad news was that "network router-type products" were added to the list of affected products and that addition could have serious implications for businesses, an official told CNN.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce criticized the tariffs, saying Monday that the decision "makes clear that the administration did not heed the numerous warnings from American consumers and businesses". But they object to Trump's tactics and warn the dispute could chill global economic growth and undermine worldwide trade regulation. "As such this is a real ratcheting up of trade tensions that certainly heightens the risks for global and U.S. growth". The US president has launched numerous trade conflicts with a number of partners, including US ally the European Union, stating that trade deficits hurt the American economy.

The South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday, citing an unidentified government source in Beijing, that China likely will not send a trade delegation to Washington after the Trump administration's latest tariff announcement.

In the latest iteration, almost half of Chinese imports face tariffs, including consumer products that range from furniture to building products and seafood. Beijing retaliated with similar penalties on the same amount of American goods. American companies say regulators are already starting to disrupt their operations.

Sohn said the Trump administration was pursuing a legitimate goal to get China to stop violating global trade rules.

Geng said he would not comment on "hypotheticals" such as what measures Beijing might consider apart from tariffs on USA products, saying only that details would be released at the appropriate time.

A tariff on smartwatches and connected earbuds, Munster said, would lower Apple's yearly profits by just one percent.

The trade actions against China will not work as China has ample fiscal and monetary policy tools to cope with the impact, a senior securities market official said earlier on Tuesday. The administration is targeting a bewildering variety of products - from sockeye salmon to baseball gloves to bamboo mats - forcing U.S. companies to scramble for suppliers outside China, absorb the import taxes or pass along the cost to their customers.

The levies focused on industrial products, not on things Americans buy at shopping centres or via Amazon. Beijing has warned that it would hit an additional $60 billion in American products if Trump ordered more tariffs.

US President Donald Trump has enforced higher import taxes will apply to more than 5000 Chinese goods.

U.S. officials on Monday slapped the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, but skipped consumer electronics like smartwatches and Bluetooth devices, in a reprieve for firms like Apple and fitness tracker maker Fitbit. And in a victory for Apple Inc. and its American customers, the administration removed smart watches and some other consumer electronics products from the list of goods imported from China.

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