Trade Wars: Major US Tariff Actions, Retaliatory Measures Since January 2018

Posted May 07, 2019

Trump ramped up pressure on China to make concessions in talks scheduled to be held in Washington this week by threatening to more than double tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, and impose a fresh round import taxes on top of that.

Geng made the response after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would raise tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Chinese goods this week.

A second source said Trump's decision to lift the tariff rate on $200 billion of worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% from Friday was meant to send a message to Liu not to come to the United States with more "empty offers".

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday night that China was considering cancelling this week's trade talks in Washington in light of Mr Trump's comments that took Chinese officials by surprise.

A second source said Trump's decision to more than double the tariff rate on $200 billion of goods was meant to send a message to Liu to not come to the USA with more "empty offers".

Chinese share benchmarks have plummeted more than 5% as threats by President Donald Trump to raise tariffs in the trade war with Beijing raised doubts over the likelihood of a deal between the two biggest economies.

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One source had said the Chinese vice premier would likely cancel the trip he'd planned for himself and a 100-person delegation for the final round of talks that US officials had previously said could yield a deal by Friday.

"The president is, I think, issuing a warning here, that, you know, we bent over backwards earlier, we suspended the 25 per cent tariff to 10 and then we've left it there".

The US imported just under $US540 billion of Chinese goods in 2018 including cell phones, computers, clothing, footwear and other consumer products. That increase will now go into effect on Friday, Trump said in a tweet.

Last week, industry sources said they believed the talks were in the endgame and Mnuchin had said he hoped the U.S. negotiating team would soon be able to recommend a deal to Trump or tell him that one could not be reached.

A sticking point is USA insistence on an enforcement mechanism with penalties in the event Beijing fails to stick to any commitments it makes.

The Shanghai Composite index plunged 5.8% to 2,906.33 while the Shenzhen A-share index, which includes many smaller companies, tumbled 6.2%.

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"The next important thing is the reaction from China".

In February, Trump delayed a tariff hike planned for March 1, citing "productive" talks between the United States and China. American businesses, while supportive of Trump's crackdown on China's trade practices, are eager for the tariffs to be removed, not expanded.

"Raising tariffs means raising taxes on millions of American families and inviting further retaliation on American farmers", said Christin Fernandez, a spokesperson for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

"The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday", he said.

While the two sides had been reporting progress in talks, the sticking points have been on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers. "If it's the latter we'll see massive downside pressure across all markets", he said.

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