Trump tariffs fail as China’s trade surplus soars

Trump tariffs fail as China’s trade surplus soars”

The Trump administration may be about to slap tariffs of up to 25 per cent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, escalating a confrontation between the world's two biggest economies and likely squeezing U.S. companies that import everything from handbags to bicycle tires.

President Donald Trump threatened Friday to slap tariffs on all of the Chinese goods imported into the United States. "I hate to this, but behind that there is another [US]$267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want". "That changes the equation".

The administration has already imposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Mr. Trump claims that China's trade policies are unfair, including the widespread practice of requiring foreign companies operating there to share intellectual property.

Earlier on Friday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg Television the administration would evaluate public comments before making decisions on the $US200 billion tariff list.

The world's two biggest economies have been locked in a months-long trade dispute, with negotiations going nowhere and fears that it could damage the global economy.

In a joint letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday, 152 trade associations representing farmers and agribusinesses, retailers and others wrote: "Continuing the tit-for-tat tariff escalation with China only serves to expand the harm to more US economic interests, including farmers, families, businesses and workers".

Mr Trump had shown no sign of bending the previous day at a meeting with Republican congressional leaders, saying: "We have done very well in our negotiation with China, but we are not prepared to make the deal that they would like to make".

The Trump administration is reportedly considering using an Obama-era executive order to slap new sanctions on Chinese entities using cyberattacks to steal US intellectual property.

Trump has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win" and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its $335 billion surplus with the US. Those talks will continue to go on. China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against USA companies operating there.

President Donald Trump is raising the stakes in his gamble that the world will line up behind the USA to take on China over trade. It would also cost roughly 350,000 to 400,000 jobs.

"Those have been our asks for many months and so far those asks have not been satisfied", he said.

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