China trade tensions escalate as Trump approves $50bn of tariffs

Trump approves plan to impose steep tariffs on Chinese goods

Modal Trigger Donald Trump AP

The official also said the United States statement, which said Washington would continue to impose additional tariffs if China takes retaliatory measures, has come to China's notice and it reserves the rights to take corresponding measures. Soybeans are China's biggest import from the United States by value. The administration is asking for input on an additional $16 billion in products that it wants to slap tariffs on also.

Chinese economist Hu Xingdou said the United States move offends China, which in future may refuse to cooperate on issues such as North Korea, Iran and Syria, adding: "It is not good news for either side". The list was slimmed down, dropping Chinese flat-panel television sets and other items typically purchased by consumers, following a public comment period.

She added, "The trade skirmish is not just about the trade deficit and exchange rates, but about the rules of the game, market openness and intellectual property". Among the affected $16 billion in USA goods include crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

The State Council has approved the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council's decision to impose additional duties of 25 percent on 659 items of USA products worth about 50 billion US dollars, as per Xinhua.

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China has said that they would impose steep tariffs on American soybean and automotive exports, which would effect Trump-dominant states the most. Although Pompeo was in Beijing to debrief the Chinese on the Singapore summit, the trade friction was never far from the surface.

"Our take is that a trade war would bring four negatives - somewhat higher inflation; growing anxiety in the US farm belt; uncertainty that could complicate long-term corporate planning; and a growing estrangement of the USA on the global stage".

Such a move, it said, "seriously infringes upon the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese side and undermines the interests of China and its people". Oil companies also traded lower amid the geopolitical tensions, including the upcoming OPEC meeting next week to discuss production. U.S. President Donald Trump has said the goal is to punish Chinese companies for intellectual property theft, a sensitive issue as the world's No. 2 economy makes the transition from the world's low-priced assembler of devices like Apple Inc.'s iPhone to an innovator that makes its own chips and components.

"We have a tremendous intellectual property theft problem", Trump said at the time.

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The White House's decision is a stark violation of the core spirit of recent trade talks between China and the US, the China Daily said in an editorial.

"Imposing tariffs places the cost of China's unfair trade practices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers", said Thomas Donohue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce.

The tariffs are the latest chapter in the ongoing trade conflict between the two countries.

On Thursday, a Commerce Ministry spokesman said some exporters were rushing to fill orders due to concern trade conditions might change, but said they were "not the mainstream".

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Meanwhile, Chinese companies use government money to buy US businesses.

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