The United States has made a decision to impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China after efforts to negotiate a solution to the trade dispute failed to reach an agreement, senior administration officials said on Tuesday.
Scott Lincicome, a trade lawyer for the group Republicans Fighting Tariffs, said tariffs on $200 billion would amount to a "multibillion-dollar tax on American businesses and families" and prompt China to retaliate against American exporters.
Lighthizer's office will hear public comments on the plan and will reach a decision after August 31, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.
China, meanwhile has vowed to match any future tariffs dollar-for-dollar, signaling an escalating trade war between the two nations.
Last week, Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing responded immediately with matching tariffs on the same amount of US exports to China.
China's retaliation to those measures was "without any worldwide legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said Tuesday.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday evening unveiled a proposed list of more than 6,000 products to be hit with 10-per-cent import taxes. Beijing immediately retaliated with similar duties on US exports.
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The Retail Industry Leaders Association said new tariffs on Chinese imports would punish American families by driving up prices. "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a Chamber spokeswoman said.
Tne Trump administration has announced additional China tariffs, say insiders.
"Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple". China responded with levies of its own, targeting $34 billion in US products such as pork and whiskey. "For over a year, the Trump Administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", Lighthizer said.
David Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron, said the pressure on Mr. Trump will mount as the economic pain spreads from affected companies to be more widely felt by consumers.
"Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour - behaviour that puts the future of the U.S. economy at risk".
Trump authorized an initial $50 billion in tariffs - including the $34 billion that took effect Friday - to match those losses.