Trump going ahead with tariffs on $16B in Chinese imports

China confirmed that it will impose 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of imports from the United States from August 23, matching an earlier move from Washington in another ratchet higher for the trade war between the two nations.

Trump, who has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win", has threatened to ramp up the pressure and slap tariffs on virtually all of China's exports to the United States if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce the $335 billion U.S. trade deficit with that country. The U.S. announced earlier this week that its own tariffs on US$16 billion of Chinese goods would start that day.

China's exports growth unexpectedly accelerated in July despite fresh USA tariffs, while its trade surplus with the United States remained near record highs as Beijing and Washington ramped up a bitter dispute that has rattled financial markets.

For its part, China has threatened to ratchet up the tit-for-tat trade war by slapping tariffs on another $60bn of American imports.

However, President Trump is also engaged in trade disputes with other countries, such as Canada and Mexico, and has imposed separate tariffs on items that include steel and aluminium, washing machines and solar panels.

China's surplus with the United States shrank marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June. Tariffs would make USA oil uncompetitive in China.

Still, disagreements between the two major economic powers run deeper than just the trade balance and tensions remain over market access, intellectual property, technology transfer and investment.

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The tariffs are aimed at industrial, rather than consumer, imports. At the same time, China has lowered its tariff on Canadian lobster imports to 7 percent, making them more attractive to Chinese buyers.

Analysts from Oxford Economics have predicted that China's GDP growth may slow to 6.4 per cent this year, from 6.9 per cent in 2017, as the effects of the trade war weigh. Last year, China imported about $130 billion of USA goods.

August 3: China announces that the country will impose tariffs of various rates on another $60 billion worth of U.S. goods if Trump moves forward with his latest threat.

His administration confirmed that its trade assault would soon cover more than $50 billion of products from China.

All China's main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled "declaration", on their front pages.

The US announced earlier this week that its own tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods would start on August 23.

China deprives US companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.

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