US Trade Representatives unveils US$200bn tariff list on Chinese imports

USA – The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has unveiled a list of additional tariffs on approximately US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports in what U.S. trade officials termed as “continuing response to China’s theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology”.

The additional tariffs will be effective starting September 24, 2018 initially in the amount of 10% then increase to 25% starting January 1, 2019 in accordance with the direction of President Trump.

According Bloomberg, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on more than US$250 billion in Chinese imports this year.

Reports had it that China responded with tariffs on US$60 billion of U.S. exports including agricultural products.

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The National Farm Bureau Federation said in a Sept. 17 statement that U.S. tariffs have sparked retaliatory tariffs that have hurt U.S. farmers.

“Farm Bureau urges our trade officials to engage in discussions with our trade partners to resolve trade concerns before resorting to tariffs.

Tariffs targeting our largest agricultural export markets have resulted in retaliation against U.S. farmers, ranchers and agricultural and food businesses across the country,” said the group.

In response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium, in addition to those imposed on only China for violations related to U.S. intellectual property, Farm Bureau said China has imposed tariffs on more than 90% of U.S. agricultural exports to China.

The group indicated that as a result of the tariff rift, China is expected to drop from being the second-largest market for U.S. agricultural goods now to the fifth largest in 2019.

President Trump had earlier in a statement said: “China has had many opportunities to fully address our concerns.

“Once again, I urge China’s leaders to take swift action to end their country’s unfair trade practices.

Hopefully, this trade situation will be resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi of China, for whom I have great respect and affection.”

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US was reported to be considering a new tariff list targeting Chinese imports including fresh mushrooms and a wide variety of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables.

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