USA wages trade war on China with new $200bn tariffs

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

Trump orders new tariffs on additional USD 200 Bn worth of Chinese imports

Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan held a meeting in Beijing on Monday with US, German, South Korean and Japanese company chief executives in which he warned, "there is no victor in the trade war".

In a pair of early morning tweets on Monday, Trump hailed his combative trade policy as a boon to American economic health and said the USA steel industry, which the White House has championed in new protectionist measures, was now "the talk of the world".

The administration previously hit China with $50 billion in tariffs, using the duties to force negotiations on ending China's trade barriers and theft of American intellectual property.

Trump administration to impose tariffs on approximately $200 billion Dollars worth of imports from China effective September 24. "China will adopt countermeasures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order".

In the statement announcing the new tariffs, Trump warned that "if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports". The administration is targeting a variety of products - from sockeye salmon to bamboo mats - forcing USA companies to scramble for suppliers outside China, absorb the import taxes or pass along the burden to their customers.

"On the Chinese side, Mr. Trump has burned a lot of political capital so it's hard to see how talks can resume if Mr. Trump goes ahead on the $200 billion", Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum. "I have great respect for President Xi, as you know".

"These practices plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy", Trump said in a White House statement.

China denies the allegations and has vowed to hit back with tariffs on $60bn (£45bn) in American goods.

Some products - such as smart watches, Bluetooth devices, bike helmets, high chairs and play pens - were exempted from the tariffs after lobbying from companies including tech giant Apple and the chemical industry.

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The missive from Cupertino complained that some Apple products were included on a list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that could face tariffs imposed by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The new list would spare fitness trackers from Fitbit, which had said in a comment letter to regulators that the tariffs would compromise its own investment in the United States.

However, some products that help computer networks operate, such as routers, remain on the latest list.

Altogether about 300 product categories were given reprieves, including some non-tech consumer devices such as bicycle helmets and baby auto seats.

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. Cook last month dined with President Donald Trump and First Lady Malania Trump at Trump's New Jersey golf club.

"We can't do that anymore", Trump said.

Those tariffs were imposed after Trump came to office demanding an overhaul of the "terrible" NAFTA deal.

A prolonged trade war between the United States, the world's largest economy, and China, the second-largest, would ripple through the rest of the globe, potentially affecting economies from Buenos Aires to Istanbul. Billions of Dollars is being spent on new plants all around the country!' he wrote.

The new tariffs will apply to hundreds of items - ranging from seafood to handbags to toilet paper - that were on a list released July 10.

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