Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Trump threatens more tariffs against China

Published:Tuesday | June 19, 2018 | 2:10 PM
US President Donald Trump - AP photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — US President Donald Trump has directed the U.S. Trade Representative to prepare new tariffs on $200 billion on Chinese imports as the two nations move closer to a potential trade war.

The tariffs, which Trump wants set at 10 percent, would be the latest round of punitive measures in an escalating dispute over the large trade imbalance between the two countries.

Trump recently ordered tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods in retaliation for intellectual property theft.

The tariffs were quickly matched by China on U.S. exports, a move that drew the president’s ire.

U.S. stock markets fell sharply Friday morning, with investors increasingly nervous about the impact of a trade war.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 400 points, or 1.6 percent.

Other stock indexes also sank.

Large U.S. companies with significant overseas business were hit especially hard. Boeing’s stock shed 4.3 percent, Caterpillar 3.7 percent, and GE 2.1 percent.

“China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology,” Trump said in a statement Monday announcing the new action, noting that “rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong.”

Trump continued, “These tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced.”

China’s Commerce Ministry on Tuesday criticised the latest threat of tariffs, saying it was an “act of extreme pressure and blackmail that deviates from the consensus reached by both parties after many negotiations and is a disappointment to the international community.”

“If the U.S. becomes irrational and issues this list, China will have no choice but to adopt strong countermeasures of the same amount and quality,” the ministry statement said.

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