Trump approves tariffs on $50 billion Chinese goods, China vows to retaliate
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Trump approves tariffs on $50 billion Chinese goods, China vows to retaliate

The Trump administration is preparing to release a refined list of Chinese products to be hit with tariffs that hones in on technologies where China wants to establish itself as a leader, according to five people familiar with the matter.

business Updated: Jun 15, 2018 14:17 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Washington
Donald Trump,Trump China tariffs,Trump tariffs
Trump is closing in on a decision to impose punishing tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese goods as early as June 15, a move that could put his trade policies on a collision course with his push to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons. (AP Photo)

US President Donald Trump has approved tariffs worth $50 billion on import of goods from China, triggering the possibility of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies after Beijing vowed to immediately retaliate.

A formal announcement is expected to be made by the US Trade Representatives today with a notification in the Federal Register in the coming weeks.

Trump’s approval to impose tariffs on Chinese exports followed a 90-minute meeting he had with commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and US trade representatives Robert Lighthizer on Thursday.The meeting also included representatives of the National Security Council.

Reacting to Trump’s latest move, China vowed to immediately retaliate.

“If the US side adopts unilateral protectionist measures and damages China’s interests, we will immediately react and take necessary measures to firmly safeguard our legitimate rights and interests,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang during a regular news briefing in Beijing.

China had previously said it would respond to American tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports with retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion of US products such as cars, planes and soybeans.

Trump’s first announced that the US would impose trade penalties on about $50 billion of Chinese goods in March.

After China warned it would retaliate, Trump threatened tariffs on a further $100 billion of Chinese products.

In mid-May, both sides announced a ceasefire after two rounds of trade negotiations. The countries said in a joint statement that China would “significantly increase” purchases of US agricultural and energy products to reduce the trade imbalance, a top Trump administration demand.

Ten days later, the White House abruptly said it would proceed with the tariffs. A further round of trade talks in Beijing earlier this month failed to yield any breakthroughs.

Following the latest decision by Trump, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said tariffs must be seen as one tool among many the US could use to hold bad actors like China accountable and bring the Chinese government to the table to secure a more favourable balance of trade.

First Published: Jun 15, 2018 11:49 IST