USA to impose $16 billion import tariffs on China

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China will impose tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of USA products, officials announced Wednesday, marking the latest parry in an escalating trade war between the two countries.

The latest charge comes after the USA said it would implement another round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods. The U.S. announced earlier this week that its own tariffs on US$16 billion of Chinese goods would start that day. But that number is expected to take a big hit after China roughly doubled tariffs on live USA seafood in retaliation of US tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports last month. Products being targeted now include crude oil, cars, steel and medical equipment.

A spokesman for the commerce ministry described the latest round of USA tariffs as "very unreasonable". Chinese imports of goods and services into the United States past year amounted to almost $524 billion.

Crude oil prices are under pressure because a tariff on imported US crude oil means a drop in demand. Those duties could be in place after a comment period ends on 6 September. Chinese data on Wednesday showed exports to the United States rose 13.3% in July to $41.5 billion against a year ago. But it held off on a final $16 billion as a result of concerns raised by U.S. companies.

Analysts from Oxford Economics have predicted that China's GDP growth may slow to 6.4 per cent this year, from 6.9 per cent in 2017, as the effects of the trade war weigh. While there's no major risk of the world lapsing into "damaging stagflation", the possibility remains of a "bigger blow-up" that sharply reduces trade, as in the 1930s, it said.

It has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in U.S. goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products. At the weekend, Trump said he had the upper hand in the trade war, while Beijing responded through state media by saying it was ready to endure the economic fallout. China responded by promising to hit $60 billion worth of USA goods coming into the country with tariffs.

China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from USA companies. US President Donald Trump accused Beijing of "being vicious" on trade, stressing that Chinese measures were targeting US farmers on goal.

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