Chinese official: Beijing should target goods needed by US

Sep 18, 2018, 02:11
Chinese official: Beijing should target goods needed by US

President Donald Trump will reportedly announce new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods on Monday or Tuesday.

The Trump administration also threatened to pursue additional tariffs on $267 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing retaliates against farmers or other USA industries.

Apple asked Lighthizer to reconsider imposing the tariffs and instead take other measures that would support the USA economy and American consumers.

Beijing has said it would retaliate to trade war escalation with tariffs of its own as well as qualitative measures, which it has not specified but are perceived within the US business community as likely to include increased customs and regulatory scrutiny.

Besides retaliating with tariffs, China could also restrict export of goods, raw materials and components core to USA manufacturing supply chains, former finance minister Lou Jiwei told a Beijing forum on Sunday, according to an attendee.

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The new tariffs will apply to hundreds of items - ranging from seafood to handbags to toilet paper - that were on a list released July 10.

Also Monday, an official newspaper called for more aggressive measures to "make American pain worse" following tariff hikes by both sides on $50 billion of each other's goods.

China wants talks based on "mutual trust", said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang. American officials say those violate Beijing's market-opening commitments and worry they might erode USA industrial leadership.

The country has its own trade feud with the United States and is also in talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Trump administration will spare a category of hi-tech products that includes Apple's Watch and its AirPods headphones from the next round of tariffs it is imposing on Chinese goods, according to two people familiar with the matter.

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The Journal report quoted one senior Chinese advisory official saying China would not negotiate "with a gun pointed to its head".

US officials, led by the Treasury Department, have invited their Chinese counterparts to more talks on trade.

Other commentators have suggested Beijing use its holdings of US government debt or target American companies in China.

Multiple reports in recent days cited officials saying Trump had made a decision to press ahead with new tariffs, but at a lower rate of 10 percent after initially announcing they should be hiked to 25 percent in light of China's alleged intransigence.

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