Economy

Trump ups ante on China, threatens duties on almost all its imports

Trump ups ante on China, threatens duties on almost all its imports”

Mr. Trump told reporters on Air Force One that his plans to slaps taxes of up to 25 percent on Chinese imports would depend on the choices made by that country's leaders.

While China's response to USA demands has been unsatisfactory, Trump is still speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping, and would be open to meeting in person, said Kudlow, director of the White House's National Economic Council.

The Trump administration is poised to impose 25% penalties this week on $200 billion of Chinese goods in an escalation of their fight over USA complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. "If the USA ignores the opposition of these companies, acts arbitrarily and imposes any new tariffs, China will have to take countermeasures". The U.S. already imposes a 25 percent tariff on around $50 billion of Chinese goods, principally technology imports. China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against US companies operating there.

The trade war the president has initiated between the world's two largest economies stems from concerns that China has deployed predatory tactics - including cyber-theft - to try to supplant America's technological supremacy.

A worker gestures as a crane lifts goods onto a cargo ship, at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China, May 31, 2018.

USA stocks erased gains after Trump's remarks, with the S&P 500 Index falling by 0.3 percent to the lowest in two weeks by 12:37 p.m.in NY.

His comments, which contradicted the more diplomatic remarks earlier Friday from his top economic adviser, sent the stock market plunging amid fears of the economic damage that could result from the multi-front trade war he pursues. He has pointed to the large USA trade deficit - the gap between US imports and exports - with the People's Republic as a sign of that imbalance.

On Thursday, Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. and other technology companies sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging the administration to avoid imposing more tariffs.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the US will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower USA growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers", Apple said in the letter. But David French, top lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, whose members include Amazon.com (AMZN.O), BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ.N) and Macy's (M.N), said almost every consumer good could be affected if Trump follows through on all threatened tariffs.

"The Chinese aren't paying these tariffs, American families are going to pay these tariffs". The administration should cease further tariffs actions and give another shot at talks for a trade deal with China, it said. Among the equipment hit were a number of components and devices used by United States tech firms, including chips and networking gear produced in Chinese factories. "We want lower (trade) barriers across the board".



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