US implements $16B in tariffs on Chinese goods

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The U.S. on Thursday started collecting steep tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, further escalating the trade battle between the world’s two largest economies.

The 25 percent tariff is hitting a broad range of products from chemicals to semiconductors, and the $16 billion completes President Trump’s promise to impose $50 billion in duties on Chinese products.

{mosads}U.S. and Chinese trade officials — China’s Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen and David Malpass, Treasury undersecretary for international affairs — are in Washington this week trying to broker a deal on trade. 

On Monday, Trump told Reuters in a interview that he did not “anticipate much” from the U.S.-China talks.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that what the administration would “like to see is better trade deals for the United States,” as a result of the talks.

The U.S. and China are part of the World Trade Organization but don’t have a trade agreement. The two nations spent years during the Obama administration discussing a bilateral investment treaty. 

Trump is threatening another $200 billion in duties on Beijing, that would bring the total to $250 billion in tariffs on Chinese products in only a few months. 

If Trump follows through on the $200 billion, China said it would hit the U.S. with $60 billion in duties on American goods, covering nearly all U.S. exports sent there. 

U.S. officials argue that China’s unfair trade practices such as the theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfer provide an advantage in global trade and hurt the United States. 

In line with the U.S.-China talks, the National Association of Manufacturers on Wednesday released a framework for the two trading partners to reach a bilateral trade agreement.

“We agree with the administration that Beijing has long reaped the rewards of unfair trade practices at the expense of American workers, which is exactly why manufacturers have been calling for the negotiation of a fair, bilateral, enforceable, rules-based trade agreement to stop those practices,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons in a statement.

Tags China–United States trade war Donald Trump Trump tariffs
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