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July 21 2018, 08:09 | Irvin Gilbert
US prepares to impose new tariffs on additional $200B worth of Chinese goods
All told, Trump has threatened eventually to slap tariffs on up to $550 billion in Chinese imports - more than China actually exported to the United States past year - if Beijing won't relent to US pressure and continues to retaliate.
China's Commerce Ministry has said that Beijing has no choice but to fight back after the United States "launched the largest trade war in economic history", accusing Washington of violating the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The US is now considering levying duties on a further $16 billion in Chinese goods, after a public hearing later this month.
The ministry said it "solemnly protests" the latest tariff list published by Washington, calling it "totally unacceptable".
The new list-targeted at China's key manufacturing export industries-contains over 6,000 products, including fruits, vegetables, live eels, feathers and beaver heads as well as hi-tech minerals that the USA needs. "As an industry that touches 96 percent of all manufactured goods and which has much to gain from a productive, respectful trading relationship with China, ACC and our members remain hopeful that the USA and China can resolve their differences and prevent further harm to US manufacturers, farmers, and consumers". "There is no justification for such action", said Mr Lightizer. The US has suggested that it may ultimately impose tariffs on $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the entire amount of US imports from China. China immediately responded with $34 billion worth of tariffs on American-made goods in retaliation.
But the mood on Wall Street is darkening, with analysts increasingly warning of the potential impact on financial markets as the world's two largest economies square off.
The U.S. said it had no choice but to move forward on the new tariffs after China failed to respond to the administration's concerns over unfair trade practices and Beijing's abuse of American intellectual property, according to two senior officials who spoke to reporters.
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Trump has been receiving support for regulation of US businesses as well as domestic tax cuts from the US Chamber of Commerce but soon after Tuesday's announcement a Chamber spokeswoman states, "Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple".
"Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise", he said. "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters.
They warned tariffs on imports raise consumer prices and expose US farmers and manufacturers to retaliation.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association said in a statement: "American retailers and the families we serve barely had time to process the barrage of tariffs implemented last week".
China "cannot match fresh US tariffs", Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank said in a report.
While China's theft and coercion of intellectual property from foreign companies is a widely acknowledged problem, trade experts are largely skeptical of Mr. Trump's strategy to deal with it through punitive tariffs.