Economy

Trump threatens higher tariffs on China

Trump threatens higher tariffs on China

In a tweet last month, US President Donald Trump suggested that China could be undermining a North Korean denuclearisation deal because of the ongoing trade war.

In a statement, Lighthizer said the proposed higher tariff is meant to provide the administration with additional options to encourage Beijing to change its trade practices.

Washington imposed additional 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods July 6 in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. He said the president had asked him to consider increasing the proposed tariffs.

Much of American industry and many members of Trump's own Republican Party have expressed outrage but have so far been unable to thwart Trump's trade policies.

"First, I suggest the USA take the right attitude and not to try to blackmail China as it doesn't work", spokesman Geng Shuang said in response to a question. A second round of tariffs on imports worth $16 billion could take effect this week.

"If the United States takes measures to further escalate the situation, we will surely take countermeasures to uphold our legitimate rights and interests", Geng Shuang, spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told journalists.

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Mr Trump's pressure strategy would not work if he did not resolve trade disputes with U.S. allies such as the European Union, Mexico and Canada, he said.

President Trump plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, a report said on Tuesday.

The USTR said it will extend a public comment period for the US$200 billion list to Sep 5 from Aug 30 due to the possible tariff rate rise.

His statement comes after separate reports said the two sides were looking to restart talks to avert a trade war between the world's top two economies that could hammer global growth.

Lighthizer told reporters on Wednesday that the additional tariffs are necessary because the original duties did not prompt China to change its trade policy. The implementation could be delayed for weeks as the administration works out the details of which products it will target. China also depends on trade more than the U.S. That case concluded China was stealing American technology and tariffs were needed to offset the damage. Because China imports far less from the USA than the US imports from China, it can't keep up tit-for-tat tariffs.

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