President Trump said Tuesday that he would proceed with tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports and introduce new limits on Chinese investment in US high-tech industries as part of a broad campaign to crack down on Chinese acquisition of USA technology.
The United States said on Tuesday that it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China and would use it unless Beijing addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property.
"The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, 2018, and tariffs will be imposed on those imports shortly thereafter", the administration said in a statement. Those come on top of the $3 billion in tariffs in place as of early April on Chinese imports of USA shipments of pork, fruit, nuts, recycled aluminum and other goods.
China responded the next day with a $50 billion list of its own, which heavily targeted agricultural and chemical products and which Beijing has vowed to impose as soon as the US moves forward with its tariffs.
The United States is also preparing to implement investment restrictions and export controls meant to restrict access of Chinese people and companies to American technology.
At around the same time, President Donald Trump vowed to find a way to prevent a major Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE, from going bust, even though the company has a history of violating USA limits on doing business with countries like Iran and North Korea.
The announcement came just ahead of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross's visit to China from Saturday.
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Kern Ag Commissioner Glenn Fankhauser said Chinese tariffs on citrus and nuts, in particular, "could potentially have quite a bit of an impact in at least those two commodities".
The Chinese government, meanwhile, may interpret the president's latest shift as a response to domestic political pressure, he added.
"From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal", said Mr Trump in a statement released with the fact-sheet.
Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese goods to combat what he has labeled unfair trade practices on the part of Beijing.
"Going forward, a reduction in the validity of some newly issued visas is part of the National Security Strategy to ensure that intellectual property is not transferred to our competitors", a White House official said. The United States will also continue to pursue litigation against China at the World Trade Organization.
Martin, at the fresh fruit trade group, said the worry is that fruit scheduled to be shipped soon - peaches, plums, nectarine and apricots - will suffer the same fate as the oranges that had to be sold at a discount because of the tariffs and inspection slowdown. In response, Beijing vowed to retaliate against U.S. exports to China with a matching value.
Hua gave no indication of whether Beijing planned to act on its own threat to retaliate by raising duties on a $50 billion list of American goods including beef and soybeans.