U.S. Poised to Publish $200 Billion China Tariff List

Chairman Xi speaks at the National People’s Congress in Beijing

China trade war escalated on Tuesday evening, with the Trump administration announcing a list of possible new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Administration officials said the tariff fight is aimed at forcing China to stop stealing American intellectual property and to abandon policies that effectively force USA companies to surrender their trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market.

Administration officials said a two-month process would allow the public to comment on the proposed tariffs before the list is finalized.

The fight with China comes as Mr. Trump is also locked in a trade war with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and other USA allies.

This builds on 25 per cent tariffs on $US34 billion worth of Chinese imports into the US that took effect at midnight on Friday, and carries out US President Donald Trump's threat to respond to any Chinese retaliation to those taxes.

The White House has complained that China has used predatory practices in a relentless push to grant Chinese companies an unfair advantage in the industries of the future, including robotics, electric cars and biopharmaceuticals. "There is no justification for such action", he said in a statement. USA officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified.

But China has rebuffed U.S. complaints and denied any harm was done to USA companies, and instead retaliated "without any worldwide legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said.

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Mr Johnson said trade would be high on the agenda for bilateral talks between Mr Trump and Mrs May at Chequers next Friday. He said Mr Trump and Mrs May have "a good relationship" and would discuss a wide range of topics at Chequers .

The president has repeatedly described his resort to tariffs - which are paid by American importers - as a lever to extract negotiating concessions from US trading partners.

While China's theft and coercion of intellectual property from foreign companies is a widely acknowledged problem, trade experts are largely skeptical of Mr. Trump's strategy to deal with it through punitive tariffs. But China only bought about $135 billion in US goods previous year, meaning it will run out of American products to tax before it matches Trump's latest move.

"China is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement to CNN last week. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behavior - behavior that puts the future of the US economy at risk".

"I'm not sure that Trump feels pressure".

In addition, the U.S.is considering separate duties on a further US$16 billion in Chinese goods, after a public hearing later this month.

"Xi Jinping and the Communist Party do not face midterm elections in November", Rank said of the Chinese president, who is no longer bound by term limits.

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