White House approves $50 billion of China tariffs in surprise move

31 May, 2018, 22:23 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Ivanka Trump's foreign-trademark victories raise conflict of interest questions

A day after the United States announced 25 per cent tariff on Dollars 50 billion of Chinese tech goods, China on Wednesday said that it did not want a trade war and remained undeterred.

These measures will be taken pursuant to the decisions made by US President Donald Trump on March 22 of this year, the press service said.

The White House also says the United States is planning new investment restrictions and export controls.

The list of specific imports subject to the tariff hike will be released on June 15, with the list on investment restrictions set to be posted on June 30.

The statement highlighted the country's industrial policies, such as its "Made in China 2025" plan, which the White House said harms companies in the USA and around the world; its average tariff rate, which is almost three times higher than the average United States rate; and that China imposes much higher tariffs on U.S. exports than the United States imposes on China. The impact of the sanctions prompted a personal plea from Chinese Premier Xi Jinping for Trump to step in.

Beijing yesterday accused the USA of hurting its credibility by acting erratically on trade and vowed to fight back if Washington goes ahead with a threatened tariff hike.


The tariffs and investment restrictions, as well as a case brought by the United States against China before the World Trade Organisation, are the outcome of an investigation launched a year ago into intellectual property practices in China. China said the claims were unproven and sometimes speculative. A delegation led by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is due to arrive Saturday in China.

The possibility of inflamed trade tensions, coming just over a week after a trade war with China seemed unlikely, helped contribute to a tumble in U.S. markets.

The unilateral increase in tariffs is accompanied by barriers to Chinese investments and imports linked to the technological sector, thus eliminating the consensus to increase them on both directions.

China's Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that the United States statement is contrary to the consensuses the two sides previously reached in Washington.

It will also continue to pursue a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement against China originally initiated in March to address its discriminatory technology licensing requirements. Trump announced on Tuesday that was moving forward with tariffs on Chinese imports. The investigation determined that Beijing commits intellectual property theft and forces foreign companies to hand over valuable data in order to operate in the Chinese market and compete with domestic firms. Trump also has blamed China for influencing North Korea amid the president's bid to hold a summit with Kim Jong Un on denuclearization.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said companies are uneasy about the threat of export and investment controls but see them as a possible way to make progress on longstanding complaints about market access and investment curbs.

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