Trade war escalation prompts backlash among U.S. lawmakers, trade groups

Posted August 04, 2018

China's proposed import tax is the latest in a tit-for-tat trade war between the two countries, which started in March when Trump signed a presidential order imposing tariffs on at least $50 billion in Chinese goods.

It also said that the date of implementation of the taxes will depend on actions taken by the U.S., while adding that consultation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit is an effective way to resolve trade differences.

China has now either imposed or proposed tariffs on $110 billion of USA goods, representing the vast majority of China's annual imports of American products.

Calling the Chinese economy weak from the lawn of the White House in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Kudlow said: "The president has said time and again, that targeted tariffs are going to be part of the gameplan with China - unless, and until, they begin to meet our requests, and so far they have not".

The U.S. economy is heavily reliant on importing more than $500 billion in goods each year from China.

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The move was in reaction to a threat from Washington earlier this week to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent.

China's imports from the United States past year totaled $153.9 billion. Democrats and Republicans have complained that China's ability to sell goods in the United States at a lower cost than US companies has put thousands of American firms out of business, costing manufacturing jobs and hurting the USA economy.

The United States and China implemented tariffs on $34 billion worth of each others' goods in July.

China on Friday said it was prepared to place additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, ranging from liquefied natural gas to some aircraft. China immediately retaliated by imposing levies on the same amount of United States goods.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi also urged the USA to remain "cool-headed" at a press conference in Singapore after an Asean-China meeting.

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"The US side has repeatedly escalated the situation against the interests of both enterprises and consumers".

"We are coming together with the European Union to make a deal with them so we will have a united front against China", National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told Fox Business News.

Today's threat targeting a smaller amount of USA goods reflects the fact that Beijing is running out of products for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the United States. "This would be a tremendous missed opportunity and would have very real effects on the U.S. LNG industry", he said.

Small- and medium-sized planes were on the list of goods that would be slapped with an additional 5 percent tariff.

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