United States steps up China trade spat with $200bn new tariffs

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President Donald Trump has already ordered tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese exports for later this summer, after the comment period on the American list closes, and China will retaliate again.

In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that the new 10-percent tariffs were in response to what he called China's "retaliation and failure to change its practices".

The move marked the latest escalation of the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Last Friday, the USA imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products, and Beijing responded by hitting the same amount of US imports.

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The tariffs could take effect after public consultations end on August 30, according to a statement from the U.S. Trade Representative's office Tuesday. These tactics include the outright theft of trade secrets, government subsidies to homegrown tech firms and demands that US and other foreign companies hand over technology if they want access to China's vast market.

"This is where a painful situation gets more painful", said Phil Levy, a former White House economist in the George W. Bush administration. China responded with levies of its own, targeting $34 billion in USA products such as pork and whiskey. They target baseball gloves, handbags and digital cameras, among other goods. But China only bought about $135 billion in USA goods past year, meaning it will run out of American products to tax before it matches Trump's latest move.

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But Trump has said continuously that China has taken advantage of the United States economy, and he has vowed to hit almost all the country's products with tariffs, as much as $450 billion.

China's retaliation to those measures was "without any global legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said Tuesday.

The latest salvo is part of Mr. Trump's multifront trade war, which has seen Washington take on its rivals and allies alike in a bid to fulfill the President's promise of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

Some countries have already announced retaliatory tariffs and other moves that USA industries have said forced them to curb plans for expansion and investments overseas.

"I'm not sure that Trump feels pressure".

"For companies that are severely impacted, we suggest they report to local government departments", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement Monday. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behavior - behavior that puts the future of the US economy at risk".

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