Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Trump administration moves ahead with new round of tariffs on Chinese imports

The United States will begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on August 23, the U.S. Trade Representative's office said on Tuesday as it published a final tariff list targeting 279 imported product lines. The final list of products contains 279 lines, down from 284 that were originally proposed.

The initial tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods went into effect at midnight the evening of July 5. China has vowed to retaliate to an equal degree.

President Donald Trump announced the tariffs totaling $50 billion in April.

This is a second installment of tariffs as "part of the US response to China's unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property", the trade representative's office wrote in the Tuesday release.

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The latest $16 billion list will hit semiconductors from China, even though numerous basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.

The dispute has continued to escalate, as Trump last week threatened to jack up the tariff rate on the next US$200 billion in Chinese imports his administration plans to target to 25 per cent, from the planned 10 per cent.

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute over Washington's charges that China uses predatory tactics in a drive to supplant US technological supremacy.

In May, Chinese importers trying to beat Beijing's looming counter-tariffs led to a surge in U.S. exports of crude oil and soybeans, temporarily driving down the trade deficit and helping boost GDP growth in the April-June period to 4.1 per cent. The alleged tactics include cyber-theft and a requirement that American companies hand over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

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