White House Announces Tariffs, Trade Restrictions To Be Placed On China

President Trump

These measures will be taken pursuant to the decisions made by US President Donald Trump on March 22 of this year, the press service said.

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.

By June 15, Washington will release a list of some $50 billion worth of Chinese goods that will be subject to a 25-percent tariff, the White House said in a statement.

The Trump administration has sought to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China by increasing the amount of United States exports to the country.

"The administration's decision to impose tariffs on United States dollars 50 billion worth of Chinese products is in fact a tax on American consumers and will undermine the competitiveness of American companies, just as the administration's steel tariffs have dramatically raised prices on steel in the USA", he said.

The White House also pledged to continue a WTO case it started in March on accusations that China's intellectual property practices violate worldwide trade law.

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Members of both parties in the House and Senate slammed the agreement the Trump administration reached with ZTE Friday, in which the Chinese firm agreed to remove its management team, hire American compliance officers, and pay a fine.

The U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' talks in Beijing were meant to flesh out a potential deal with China on the purchase of more U.S. goods from agriculture to energy.

But in subsequent weeks, negotiations with China focused on narrower concerns, such as the bilateral trade deficit.

The renewed threat of tariffs comes ahead of commerce secretary Wilbur Ross's visit to Beijing this week when he will try to get China's agreement to firm numbers for additional United States exports to the country. "One is that what we're having with China is a trade dispute, plain and simple".

Besides, the White House said it would continue with efforts to protect domestic technology and intellectual property, stop non-economic transfers of industrially significant technology and intellectual property to China, and enhance access to the Chinese market.

While US tariffs would have a direct impact on China's economy, such uncertainty would likely have an even greater indirect impact as it came to affect consumption, investment confidence and financial markets, he explained.

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In response, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said it was "surprised" by the move but at the same time "somewhat expected" it.

China has no reason to address issues brought up by the United States if the government's priorities appear to be constantly in flux, said Eric Altbach, senior vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group and former deputy assistant USA trade representative for China under President Barack Obama.

Trump administration officials last month proposed a ban on sales of crucial American technology to ZTE, a giant Chinese telecom company that employs 80,000 people.

The tariff threat could still disrupt Ross's China talks. "China urges the United States to move in the direction of the spirit of the joint communique".

"The Chinese government is known for using their military's cyber capabilities to hack into private USA tech firms, stealing IP, then transferring the technology to state-run companies who profit from its development", he said.

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