Trump Sets Tariffs On $200 Billion In Imports From China

The Donald Trump administration is for the first time publicly planning for a trade spat that drags into 2019 and possibly beyond

The Dollar edged lower against most currencies Monday as traders await the next move in President Donald Trump's so-called "trade war" with China, following a series of reports suggesting tensions could escalate in coming days.

"Ongoing uncertainty about trade policy had led to volatility in the prices of some commodities", the board's minutes said.

What's the likely impact from a US-China trade war?

Apple and Amazon.com bore the brunt of investor worries about the tariffs, which were on a list unveiled in July that included $200 billion worth of internet technology products, other electronics, printed circuit boards and consumer goods.

The taxes will take effect from 24 September, starting at 10 percent and increasing to 25 percent from the start of next year.

China has accused the U.S. of trade bullying and, to this point, has responded dollar-for-dollar with tariffs of its own.

In proceeding with additional tariffs, Trump ignored pleas from hundreds of United States companies who opposed the new levies at public hearings last month.

"Any time tariffs are imposed, I worry that Americans will be forced to pay extra costs - in this case on almost half of the United States imports from China", he said. Then last month, the escalating trade war moved up a gear when the USA brought in a 25 percent tax on a second wave of goods worth $16b.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week invited top Chinese officials to a new round of talks, but thus far nothing has been scheduled.

USA and Chinese trade delegations led by Treasury Sec.

The summary, released on Tuesday morning, quoted Zhong as saying "entrepreneurs are very anxious about the possible consequences of trade conflicts in the world's two largest economies, which we do not want to see".

In theory, the tariffs will make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, and so encourage consumers to buy American.

Economists warn the tariffs could chip away at USA economic growth.

US President Donald Trump said the latest round of tariffs was in response to China's "unfair trade practices, including subsidies and rules that require foreign companies in some sectors to bring on local partners".

Trump had urged his advisers to press forward with the $200 billion round, even as Washington and Beijing worked to restart trade talks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4 per cent to close at 26,062, the S&P 500 fell 0.6 per cent to 2,889 and the NASDAQ was down 1.4 per cent to close at 7896.

The move is aimed at pressuring China to change long-standing trade practices that Trump says are hurting USA businesses at a moment when the administration believes it has an advantage in the trade dispute.

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These practices plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy, he added.

"As President, it is my duty to protect the interests of working men and women, farmers, ranches, businesses, and our country itself", Trump said in a statement.

Trump said his administration is taking this action as a result of the Section 301 process that the USTR has been pursuing for more than 12 months.

"Tariffs have put the USA in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been nearly unnoticeable", Trump said on Twitter.

The Trump administration says its aggressive stance is to pressure Beijing to change policies that allow for the theft of U.S. technology and undercut American producers.

Trump's latest escalation of tariffs on China comes after several meetings yielded no progress. The move allowed USA steel producers to increase prices, raising costs for companies that buy steel and pressuring them to cut back elsewhere. China could decide to pull out of planned trade talks in Washington next week, if it feels Trump isn't showing sufficient goodwill.

Talks between the European Union and Britain on Brexit are being conducted in a spirit of "good cooperation", said Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator on the issue.

He said "no-one benefits from trade disputes or a global trade war".

It brings all Chinese imports subject to added tariffs to $250 billion, roughly half of China's shipments to the USA past year.

"The Liberal-National government will ensure we continue to have the backs of Australian industry".

"In the short term, we will have higher prices and fewer jobs than we would have had otherwise", Sohn said.

Birmingham said the Australian government was "always concerned where people are not necessarily following the traditional rules-based order of global trade". We are not asking for special treatment, but rather for an equal playing field in a nondiscriminatory business environment.

"By choosing to unilaterally raise taxes on Americans, the cost of running a farm, factory or business will grow".

According to Reuters, smart watches from Apple and Fitbit, as well as some consumer safety products, such as bicycle helmets and baby auto seats, are exempt from the new tariffs.

Trump's top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, said in NY on Monday: "We stand ready to negotiate with China any time if they are willing to move towards serious talks to remedy trade problems".

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