Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Trump administration ups ante in trade fight with China

President Donald Trump has threatened an additional $US200 billion with levies of 10 per cent, a level the administration may raise to 25 per cent in a Federal Register notice in coming days, one of the people said.

"U.S. pressure and blackmail won't have an effect", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a news briefing, according to Reuters.

We were particularly heartened that Trump and the Europeans now have a handshake agreement to aim for zero tariffs on both sides of the Atlantic.

USA threats have escalated since, with the President saying he is ready to impose tariffs on all $500bn of Chinese imports.

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Erin Ennis, senior vice president of the US China Business Council, said a 10 per cent tariff on these products is already problematic, but more than doubling that to 25 per cent would be much worse.

Chinese officials said they were prepared to retaliate again with higher tariffs of their own.

Concerned that the U.S.'s tariffs on Chinese imports still haven't had the desired effect of getting the Chinese to cave in to American trade demands, the Trump administration is reportedly considering amping up the pressure even more than was previously proposed.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the administration needs to take this action in order to force China to end their unfair trade practices. The tariffs target a range of Chinese imports like dog food, furniture, vehicle tires, beauty products, and food products, in addition to steel and aluminum.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing that USA pressure on trade won't work, and that Beijing has always upheld using dialogue to resolve trade issues.

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Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth, and prominent USA business groups have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.

Trump also got more pushback on his tariff plans from the U.S. Congress on Wednesday as a bipartisan group of senators, led by Republican Rob Portman of OH, launched new legislation that would scale back the president's power to impose tariffs for national security reasons under a Cold War-era trade law.

The proposal would require a more robust justification from the Department of Defense for "Section 232" tariffs such as those imposed on steel and aluminium imports and those now under consideration for autos.

Butina is accused of working with an American consultant, believed to be Erickson, on a covert Kremlin influence campaign to further Russia's interest in the cultivating ties to prominent conservative groups, including the NRA.

Some US politicians expressed support for the White House move.

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