U.S. may slap China with higher tariffs, Beijing vows to retaliate

Robert Lighthizer said Mr Trump directed the increase because China refused to meet United States demands and has imposed retaliatory tariffs on USA goods.

China roared back at the latest US tariff threat Thursday, vowing to retaliate if the USA presses forward with plans to put 25 percent tariffs on additional $200 billion of Chinese imports. This trend should surprise absolutely no one since slapping tariffs on individual countries will only serve to shift the source of America's imports to countries unaffected by tariffs, while the Chinese government has more than enough tools at its disposal to counteract new tariffs with additional subsidies.

The United States has now proposed 25 per cent duties on a $200 billion catalogue of Chinese products, from air conditioning units and antiques to toilet paper and truffles.

The initial set of tariffs and reprisals led to talks between Washington and Beijing, and Trump and his administration touted a deal that they said would lead to hundreds of billions of dollars worth of additional USA exports to China.

In response, the White House has established a comment period on the proposed tariffs, which includes public hearings where businesses can request exemptions. "Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against United States workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses", Mr Lighthizer said in a statement. Officials in Beijing have vowed to respond with the same amount of tariffs on USA products.

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"The yuan depreciation has announced itself again as the go-to spot to expresses trade war bias, with the U.S. dollar against the offshore yuan at new high of 6.87, which is not too surprising given the increased trade tensions", said Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific's head of trading at foreign currency trading firm Oanda.

In fact, China can keep devaluing the Yuan until its capital controls "firewall" finally cracks: recall that this was the trigger that prompted a global bear market (from which the USA was spared) in 2015/2016 when China lost a total of $1 trillion in reserves to defend its current against an onslaught of capital flight. "I initiated this process on July 10", says Robert Lightizer, US Trade Representative, in a statement.

A second round of tariffs on imports worth $16 billion could take effect this week.

The Chinese have already proposed buying more USA goods in order to settle the dispute, only to have the White House-which wants to win a broader argument about intellectual property and subsidies-reject the proposal. Advisers reportedly told President Trump that China's authorities would be more likely to yield if higher tax rates were imposed.

The plan to more than double the tariff rate was first reported by Bloomberg News.

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