US may slap tariffs on $200 bn more of Chinese goods, but at 10%
17 September 2018
The United States is expected to announce a fresh round of tariff imposts on $200 billion worth of imports from China, although at a reduced rate of 10 per cent, against the 25 per cent imposed at earlier rounds, say reports.
The new levies are proposed on a list of items that include internet technology products and other electronics, printed circuit boards and consumer goods, including Chinese seafood, furniture and lighting products, tires, chemicals, plastics, bicycles and car seats for babies.
US President Donald Trump is likely to announce the fresh round of tariffs today, media reports in the US claimed over the weekend.
The Wall Street Journal said the tariffs could be set lower at around 10 per cent against the 25 per cent indicated earlier by the Trump administration.
While it was unclear if the administration will exempt any of the products that were on the list, which was announced in July, President Trump last week signed the “Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018,” into law, providing for duty suspensions and reductions for specified chemicals and other items through 31 December 2020.
On Friday, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters had said Trump “has been clear that he and his administration will continue to take action to address China's unfair trade practices. We encourage China to address the long-standing concerns raised by the Unites States.”
Trump is pushing with tariff imposts even as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's attempts to restart trade talks with China. This, however, seemed to have its impact on tariff levels that now stands reduced to 10 per cent from the 25 per cent proposed earlier.
This will serve both purposes of keeping consumer prices low and giving Beijing more leeway in addressing US concerns.
Trump wants China to cut its $375-billion trade surplus with the United States, end policies aimed at usurping US technologies and intellectual property and roll back subsidies on high-tech industrial products.
The Trump administration has already levied duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods following a study on China's intellectual property practices. Simultaneously, the world's two largest economies also appeared to be making progress on addressing trade disputes.
On September 7, Trump warned that he had further tariffs ready to go on $267 billion worth of Chinese imports beyond those that will be targeted this week. If all of the tariffs were invoked, total imports from China facing tariffs would exceed the $505 billion in goods that the United States imported from China last year.
This year, imports from China through July were up nearly 9 per cent from the same period of 2017, according to US Census Bureau data.