More than doubling Chinese tariffs being considered

Friday 3 Aug 2018

According to Bloomberg, the Trump Administration is considering more than doubling proposed Chinese tariffs. Earlier in July, President Trump threatened 10 percent tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese exports to the U.S. Bloomberg has reported that Trump is expected to increase tariffs to 25 percent.

The move is thought to be a negotiating tactic with the Chinese government - aimed at gaining the upper hand in the trade war. Bloomberg's correspondent, an anonymous White House staff member, said Trump doesn't wish to fundamentally change U.S. economic policy.

Beijing has already reacted angrily and has accused Trump of "blackmail". It has threatened to retaliate. The list of $200 billion worth of Chinese products, running around 200 pages, includes industrial goods and chemicals, consumer products, and wood products.

If Trump follows through, just under 50 percent of all Chinese imports would be subjected to tariffs. Wood products facing a tariff include oak, beech, maple, ash, cherry, mouldings, rods, particleboard and various types of plywood. Furniture items include wood chairs and furniture designed for offices and kitchens. Wood pulp products and paper products are also on the list.

The proposed tariffs would be on top of 25 percent tariffs that the Trump administration has assessed on $50 billion of Chinese goods: $34 billion of which took effect July 6. China then fired back with tariffs of the same amount.

Because China imported just $130 billion worth of products from the U.S. last year, it cannot fire back with matching tariffs again. If China wishes to retaliate, experts say it must do so with different measures.


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