Trump hits China with fresh tariffs, threatens more if Beijing retaliates

The Donald Trump administration is for the first time publicly planning for a trade spat that drags into 2019 and possibly beyond

US President Donald Trump appeared poised to ratchet up his trade dispute with China, with punitive import tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods likely to be announced "soon", a White House official said on Monday.

Collection of tariffs on the long-anticipated list will start 24 September but the rate will increase to 25% by the end of 2018, allowing U.S. companies some time to adjust their supply chains to alternate countries, a senior administration official said.

He also warned that if China retaliated then the U.S. would "immediately pursue phase three" which would mean imposing further tariffs with taxes on another $267bn worth of Chinese products.

In a pair of tweets, Trump continued to make the case that tariffs largely harm the countries that are taxed, saying the impact on the US economy has been "almost unnoticeable".

The Chinese are expected to retaliate with commensurate tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods, and may withhold vital raw materials to USA firms.

The trade war between America and China has escalated, fuelling fears that the global economy could be dragged down.

Last month, it unveiled a proposed list of tariffs on $60 billion of USA goods ranging from liquefied natural gas to certain types of aircraft - should Washington activate the tariffs on its $200 billion list.

Sohn said the Trump administration is pursuing a legitimate goal of getting China to stop violating global trade rules but that it should have enlisted support from other trading partners, such as the European Union, Canada and Mexico, and presented Beijing with a united front.

The White House says it has made it very clear what the USA expects from China regarding trade, but since the country has not complied the president slapped Beijing with more tariffs.

At the same time, the administration said it is still open to negotiations with China.

"We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly".

A broad, $23 billion category of internet-connected devices will remain subject to tariffs, but some products, such as smart watches, Bluetooth devices, and other consumer-focused technology products were removed following a lengthy public vetting period during which more than 6,000 comments were received.

This corroborates earlier reports from Monday, which cited an anonymous senior administration official.

Parker said the Government did not believe the effect of the tariffs on New Zealand - for example from more costly imported goods - would be large "and neither do we think there will be any large benefit to New Zealand".

If tariffs are imposed on the cranes, it could cost the port an additional $10m and put the port infrastructure at risk, Reinhart had testified in Washington in August at hearings on the tariffs.

A Treasury spokesman did not immediately respond to a query on the status of the China talks invitation.

The tough talk and fear of more tariffs and retaliation rattled investors and sent indexes dropping.

"There is no disagreement between the Congress and the President that we must hold China accountable for hurting the USA companies and workers on a colossal scale by extorting our companies to transfer their best technology, stealing our intellectual property, and shoring up China's state-run companies through subsidies and other distortive practices", Brady said. The lack of progress and collapse of that deal have made future negotiations more hard, as it's unclear who speaks for the United States administration and there's a lack of confidence that any deal will be honored. "That's good news. At least we did something", he said.

The tariff duel is causing companies that rely on Chinese factories to rethink their business relationships, said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council. That would raise the total to $517 billion - covering almost everything China sells the United States. Canada, for instance, imposes high tariffs on some imported dairy products as part of price supports for its farmers. China has said it will hit back.

His comments are likely to further rattle USA businesses, which have pleaded with the administration to abandon the tariffs and warned they will raise prices, cost jobs and hurt the US economy.

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