Trump repeats tariff threat on $300bn of Chinese goods

Author: Al Greenwood

2019/08/01

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump repeated on Thursday his earlier threat to impose tariffs on $300bn worth of Chinese goods, a move that would put nearly every US import from China under some kind of duty.

American flags are displayed together with Chinese flags on top of a trishaw in Beijing. The American Chamber of Commerce in China says Beijing will "dig its heels in" after U.S. tariff hikes and appealed for a negotiated end to their trade battle. (Source: Andy Wong/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Trump made the threat despite what he described as a positive dialogue between US and Chinese negotiators during their latest round of talks.

US representatives had just returned from China, and Trump described the talks as constructive.

Nonetheless, Trump said that the US will impose tariffs of 10% on $300bn worth of Chinese goods.

Earlier in May, the US had threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25% on $300bn worth of goods.

The US has already completed much of the groundwork for the proposed tariffs.

It had drafted a list of the goods that would be covered by the tariffs, one that included several chemicals, plastics and elastomers.

It has since collected oral testimony and written comments.

China has yet to specify how it would respond to new tariffs. However, it has retaliated every time that the US had imposed tariffs on Chinese goods.

Chemical companies have already complained that the tit-for-tat tariffs between the  US and China have hurt their business. They highlighted the trade dispute in their second-quarter earnings reports and in their conference calls with analysts.

If the US carries out its threat, then it could make any resolution to the trade dispute more distant and elusive.

(adds paragraph 4)