LATEST- Trump approves $50 billion tariffs on China- trade tensions escalates- Reports

President Trump has slapped 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese goods, accusing Beijing of intellectual copyright theft.

The US will impose further tariffs if China retaliates, the White House said in a statement.

The New York Times Report:

The Trump administration said on Friday that it would move ahead with imposing a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese products that are imported into the United States, threatening to escalate what had primarily been a war of words between the world’s two largest economies into a full-blown trade war.

In a statement Friday morning, President Trump said the United States would levy the tariffs on goods that contain “industrially significant technologies,” including those that relate to the country’s Made in China 2025 plan for dominating high-tech industries, and that the United States would pursue additional tariffs if China retaliates.

President Trump’s decision to move forward with imposing penalties on China is the latest twist by a White House that has vacillated between taking a tough stance on Chinese trade practices and declaring that the trade war was “on hold.”

Beijing has said it will retaliate by imposing its own tariffs on a list of roughly $50 billion in American exports, a list likely to include agricultural products and manufactured goods, people briefed on their plans said.

“If the U.S. takes unilateral and protectionist measures and harms our interests, we will take action immediately and take necessary measures to protect our legitimate rights,” Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said at a briefing on Friday.

The list of Chinese products that the Trump administration proposed taxing in early April included flat-screen televisions, medical devices, aircraft parts, and hundreds of additional products. It had previously said it would release a revised list of affected products by June 30, and put tariffs into effect shortly thereafter. The White House says the measures are necessary to reset the trade relationship with China, a country they accuse of gaming economic rules and costing millions of American jobs.

But the prospect of a trade war between the two economies has sparked concern from businesses, many of which depend on access to China’s market, as well as investors and consumer groups. Economists say the levies will both drive up prices for American consumers purchasing products at retail stores and for businesses that depend on China for parts used to make other goods in the United States. That would potentially dampen economic growth that has been stoked by the administration’s tax cuts.

The plan to proceed with tariffs has split the president’s closest advisers, some who believe they are necessary measures to force China to reform, and others who fear the fallout from a trade war and have been pushing for a negotiated solution.

Article sourced from New York Times and BBC.com

Photo Credit- New York Times

 

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