White House to Impose Tariffs on $50 Billion of Chinese Goods

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The White House said yesterday that it also would restrict investment and exports by Chinese companies and individuals if they related to "industrially significant technology" in America.

In a brief statement, the White House said President Donald Trump is planning "multiple steps" to protect domestic technology and intellectual property from certain "discriminatory and burdensome trade practices by China".

The White House, and many American companies, say that China forces USA firms to turn over technology as part of joint ventures with Chinese companies to gain access to its market.

It said the final list of covered imports, worth around $50bn (£38bn), will be published on June 15, with the 25pc tariff imposed shortly after.

This after the USA decided on Tuesday that it will impose a hefty 25-percent tariff on 50-billion dollars' worth of Chinese goods containing "industrially significant" technology.

The United States' decision to push ahead with plans to impose tariffs on Chinese imports should be seen as a negotiating tactic, and Beijing should be more concerned with providing a level playing field for foreign companies, an American business leader said.

Trump's accusations that Chinese trade practices were killing American jobs had been a staple of his campaign, and his reversal has left heads spinning in Washington.

"China's success means that it can no longer credibly defend protectionist policies on the grounds that it is still a "developing country", the American chamber said in a report Wednesday.

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Analysts in the United States suggested the newly confrontational stance also might be aimed at appeasing congressional critics of a deal the Trump administration made Friday that allowed Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp.to stay in business.

Following trade talks in Washington, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the world's two biggest economic powers have agreed to back away from imposing tough new tariffs on each other's exports.

"In global relations, an about-face or constant change of positions is bound to damage or squander a country's credibility", Hua said. The US delegation will be led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is set to arrive in China on Saturday. The watchdog group wrote on its website that it "isn't the first time that Ivanka's and President Trump's business connections to China have raised potential ethics issues", pointing out that on May 13 the president tweeted he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to give ZTE "a way to get back into business, fast".

It said technology transfers between U.S. companies and their Chinese partners were the result of normal business practices, not coercive policies.

The US will move forward with a complaint against China at the World Trade Organization.

The announcement comes at a sensitive time in US-China relations, amid US talks with nuclear-armed North Korea as well as rising tensions in the South China Sea, where two US vessels recently sailed close to two disputed islands, prompting protest from Beijing.

Photo: US Department of State.