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Trump sets tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods: Beijing strikes back

Trump sets tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods: Beijing strikes back

The president's move to target $50 billion worth of Chinese imports for additional duties of 25 percent includes parts for planes, printed circuit boards, light emitting diodes and optical fibers, according to a list by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

China's announcement could have major ramifications for the US seafood industry and for the economy of ME, which is home to most of the country's lobster fishery.

China's response was swift, as it announced hours later that it too would be levying retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion worth of USA goods - including soy products and automobiles. Its statement also said all trade agreements made between the two countries during recent negotiations would be void due to the new USA tariffs. The ministry announced Friday that it will immediately add tariffs of "equal scale and equal strength" on USA products.

The U.S. tariffs are in addition to previously announced duties on imports of steel and aluminum from several countries, including China.

China and the United States are major seafood trading partners beyond just lobster, and the new tariffs would apply to dozens of products that China imports from the U.S., including salmon, tuna and crab. For this, many experts agree China is a bad player.

The Chinese commerce ministry announced tariffs on $34 billion of USA goods including agricultural products like soybeans, which will take effect from July 6.

The White House announced the tariffs one day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing for talks that were described as focusing on Trump's recent meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"These tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs", he said. Earlier, Chinese officials warned of mirror measures, pledging to introduce import tariffs on USA goods such as automobiles, aircraft, and soybeans. Beijing has drawn up a list of $50 billion in USA products that would face retaliatory tariffs.

Aircraft, included in the earlier Chinese list, were not on the revised list.

Trump has long threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese as part of his protectionist policies and to halt the ascendancy of what he considers to be America's greatest economic rival.

Experts panned Trump's strategy of using tariffs to attempt to curb China's manufacturing rise.

Critics cautioned the president's decision could spark a trade war between Beijing and Washington, but Trump said the war was lost years ago. We lost $500 billion in trade deficits past year.

"We deeply regret that the United States has disregarded the consensus formed. and provoked a trade war".

"In today's era, launching a trade war is not in the global interest", the ministry's statement reads. "We call on all countries to take joint action, resolutely put an end to this outdated and regressive behavior, and firmly defend the common interests of mankind".

The official, who asked not to be identified, declined to say whether Trump would make good on a March threat to hit another $100 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs in response to Beijing's retaliation. "Those are crown jewels for this country", Trump said.

Those restrictions are aimed at stopping China from developing its own hi-tech industry with technologies acquired from the USA - one of Washington's long-standing complaints. Even if the USA duties reach the full $150 billion, they estimated it would shave well under a half-percentage point off China's annual growth rate, which could be offset by fiscal and monetary policy actions.

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