Trump Seeks $100 Billion Additional Tariffs on Chinese Imports

Tit-for-tat trade tariffs between China and the United States fuel fears of a trade war

The latest escalation comes after the US on Tuesday said it would impose 25% duties on $50bn of imports from China, and China quickly retaliated by listing $50bn of products that it could hit with its own 25% tariffs.

President Donald Trump ordered his chief trade negotiator to consider imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese products Thursday, in a dramatic escalation of his trade war with China.

China is the largest market for US soy and the threat of tariffs on exports of the commodity has the potential to whip up trade anxieties in stalwart Republican areas.

US-made goods that appear to face added tariffs in China based, on an analysis of Beijing's list, include Tesla electric cars, Ford's Lincoln auto models, Gulfstream jets made by General Dynamics and Brown-Forman Corp's Jack Daniel's whiskey.

"If the USA side announces the list of products for $100 billion in tariffs, the Chinese side has fully prepared and will without hesitation counterattack with great strength", spokesman Gao Feng said.

That was in response to the release by the USA of a list of proposed tariffs a day earlier, covering 50 billion Dollars in Chinese products.

Trump last month authorised the suspension of those fresh tariffs, but only gave the European Union until May 1 to come up with a solution to unfair trade practices alleged by the United States leader.

"Facing such a major issue, we must fight resolutely", the spokesperson said.

"Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers", Trump's statement said. Mnuchin says in the interview that US officials are in communication with the Chinese.

Mr. Trump said he is "committed to enabling American companies and workers to compete on a level playing field around the world" and "will never allow unfair trade practices to undermine American interests".

China responded to this week's plans by announcing tariffs on $50 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, the largest agricultural export to China from the US. "The US risks isolating itself from global trade in this process and we think the US, USD and US asset markets have more to lose". But Hufbauer said as November's mid-term elections approach, the political ramifications of the current trade policy could be greater than the economic ones for Trump. Studies found that a steel tariff imposed by President George W. Bush in 2002 resulted in as many as 200,000 jobs lost in industries that use steel to make their products. Trump tweeted that China gets "tremendous perks and advantages" at the World Trade Organisation because it is considered a developing nation.

Although hope remains for averting a full-blown trade war, analysts at Oxford Economics said failure to avoid a clash would trigger a "pronounced" slowdown for the world economy by knocking 0.5% off worldwide growth.

The powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a stalwart supporter of Republican lawmakers, said tariffs were "not the way" to achieve fairer trade with China.

If China "were to try and respond in kind, there would not be enough USA goods to tariff", said Alex Wolf, an emerging markets economist at fund manager Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Last year, the United States sold $12.4 billion in soybeans to China - almost 60 percent of all US soybean exports.

"This latest intimidation reflects the deep arrogance of some American elites in their attitude towards China", the state-run Global Times said in an editorial.

"We're absolutely willing to negotiate", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday on CNBC, adding, "I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to work this out".

"Hopefully the president is just blowing off steam again", he wrote in a statement Thursday.

The new list will be proposed in the same manner as the first round and will go through a similar public comment period before any of them are activated, the spokeswoman said. So they pay 2.5; we pay 25. He says those interests include protecting USA farmers.

Successful farming cited that it benefits China to buy meat from large private pork producers in the United States that have integrated into packing because US pigs are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to guarantee they are not injected with antibiotics and are disease free, unlike Chinese producers.