As trade war with China looms, US readies second wave of duties

As trade war with China looms, US readies second wave of duties

As trade war with China looms, US readies second wave of duties

US President Donald Trump is due to unveil later on Friday a final list of roughly $50 billion in Chinese imports that would face punishing tariffs, though his administration has not yet publicly said when the measures will be imposed.

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China's Ministry of Commerce declined to immediately comment on the report Trump has approved the tariffs.

Trump has pledged to enforce fair and reciprocal trading relations with China, with the USA bilateral trade in goods deficit having reached $375 billion previous year, and amid long-running complaints of what foreign companies see as forced technology transfers and market restrictions.

Another administration official said a draft document showed the new list would still be close to $50 billion, with about 1,300 product categories, but both the dollar amount and quantity of products were still subject to change.

The prospect of a trade world between the world's two largest economies is back in the spotlight as Donald Trump is expected to say today that he will press ahead with tariffs on $50bn of Chinese imports.

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Although Pompeo was in Beijing to debrief the Chinese on the Singapore summit, the trade friction was never far from the surface.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday that China's response would be immediate and that Beijing would "take necessary measures to defend our legitimate rights and interests".

"The first choice is cooperation and mutual benefit". Chinese officials have said they would drop agreements reached last month to buy more USA soybeans, natural gas and other products. Several industry lobbyists told Reuters they expected the move to come as early as Friday, with publication of a Federal Register notice, or it could be put off until next week.

"I think the tariffs are coming", said Stephen Moore, a former Trump campaign adviser and visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

The White House has said it is proceeding with plans to impose duties on US$50 billion (S$66.7 billion) of Chinese goods, after weeks of high level-discussions between the USA and China yielded little progress.

Trump will approve the tariffs on Friday, Bloomberg reported overnight, citing two people familiar with the president's thinking.

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"The proposed list has undergone a substantial public comment period and could shrink not only in quantity, but also in overall value - an important factor in the degree of escalation should the tariffs be implemented", Salisbury said.

Beijing has also drawn up a list of $50 billion in USA products that would face retaliatory tariffs, including beef and soybeans, a shot at Trump's supporters in rural America. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who had a heart attack on Monday, didn't take part, she said.

As we've argued elsewhere, Trump appears to be targeting allies as a means of rupturing their mindset-convincing them that they are no longer deserving of American coddling just because of their geopolitical status.

Trump also was bullish at and after the recent G7 meetings when he, alongside National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, refused to budge on their financial and trade policies. But he signaled that whatever the implications, "I have to do what I have to do" to address the trade imbalance.

Trump did not specifically mention the tariffs and added that he had "a very good relationship with President Xi (Jinping) of China".

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