Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

USA announces 25% new tariffs on Chinese tech goods

USA announces 25% new tariffs on Chinese tech goods

Trump has bemoaned the massive United States trade deficit with China as evidence that Beijing has been complicit in abusive trading practices.

The renewed threat of tariffs comes ahead of commerce secretary Wilbur Ross's visit to Beijing this week when he will try to get China's agreement to firm numbers for additional U.S. exports to the country. "These trade tensions are not beneficial for anybody".

A United States negotiating team is in China, preparing for the next round of trade and investment talks.

But on Tuesday evening it said that sanctions announced in March - largely focused on China's theft of USA intellectual property - were still in the works and details would be announced in the coming month.

Trump has raised concerns about China's attempt to siphon US technology secrets since his presidential campaign. Mnuchin also forecast a doubling in sales of USA energy products to the Chinese market, increasing energy exports by $50 billion to $60 billion in the next three to five years.

Ivanka Trump's brand continues to win foreign trademarks in China and the Philippines, adding to questions about conflicts of interest at the White House, AP has found. "The Chinese government has the ability and wisdom to handle such situations".

The president has been seeking Chinese agreement to reduce the $375 billion US goods trade deficit and to drop trade practices that he said hurt American companies. "So far, there's not much of that in evidence".

After announcing tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium in March, Trump raised the ante repeatedly in the following weeks.

The list of goods subject to the tariff will be complete by June 15.

The White House announcement said it also would impose curbs on Chinese investment and purchases of high-tech exports.

The tariff cuts will apply to products including clothes, washing machines and makeup. They warn the duties could end up raising costs for American consumers, devastating farmers and hurting other exporters if China proceeds with retaliatory duties.

China retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about $3 billion on 128 American products.

Separately, on Friday, the USA reached a deal on ZTE Corp. that will allow the Chinese telecommunications giant to remain in business. Last week, the president said he would allow ZTE to stay in business after it pays a $1.3 billion fine, shakes up its management, and provides "high-level security guarantees". The Treasury has presented its findings to the president, but its conclusions haven't been made public.

China and the U.S. announced measures to avert a trade war on 20 May under which Beijing agreed to "significantly increase" its purchases of American goods and services to reduce China's $375 billion trade surplus with the United States. "It may be the administration has shifted somewhat to appease the Congress on the lifting of the ZTE sanctions".

In an unexpected change in tone, the United States said on Tuesday that it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China unless it addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property.

When Trump first directed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to levy tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports in March, following a months-long investigation into intellectual property theft, the move was hailed as a victory for trade hawks in the Trump administration.

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