US prepares new tariffs on Chinese imports in retaliation

US President Donald Trump- shown here at the White House earlier this month- has taken a tough stance on trade in his second year in office

President Trump said Monday that he has ordered his chief trade negotiator to draw up a list of $200 billion in Chinese products that will be hit with 10 percent tariffs if China refuses to back down in the rapidly escalating trade war between the two countries.

China is the main perpetrator.

Trump said that if China responds to this fresh round of tariffs, then he will move to counter "by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods".

"Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong".

"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology", Trump said in a statement. Some of those tariffs-which would add 25% to the price of the goods affected at the border- are set to be implemented on July 6. "Trump could put more pressure on other countries like Japan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation courtiers", said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo. He added that China is a "predatory economic government" that is "long overdue in being tackled", matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminium flooding the U.S. market. "China will not just swallow United States tariffs", said Driscoll. "It's an unprecedented level of larceny".

"The Chinese may just replace some of the American oil with Iranian crude", said John Driscoll, director of consultancy JTD Energy Services. "This is predatory economics 101".

China's threat to impose duties on United States oil imports will hit a business that has soared in the last two years, and which is now worth nearly $1 billion per month.

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A cut in Chinese purchases of U.S. oil may also benefit Iran's sales, which Washington is trying to curb with new sanctions it announced in May.

"We were actually preparing to raise imports according to an earlier government line", he added, referring to a Beijing policy enacted earlier this year to help reduce the USA trade deficit with China. China is retaliating by raising import duties on US$34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey.

The exchange of blows between Washington and Beijing has heightened fears of a protracted dispute that could hurt global growth and particularly Europe, given that Trump has signalled he wants to impose tariffs on automotive exports.

Pompeo on Monday described USA actions as "economic diplomacy", which, when done right, strengthens national security and global alliances, he added.

Beijing responded by saying it would hit 659 USA goods worth $50bn with a similar tax.

"Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods, and accept a more balanced trade relationship with the United States", Trump said in a statement.

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