Trade war looms as Trump announces China tariffs

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Tariffs on $34 billion of USA goods including agricultural products such as soybeans will take effect from July 6, the ministry said.

The Chinese government has already promised retaliation in equal measure against USA goods including soybeans and imports of four-wheel drive vehicles.

The US has in recent weeks also slapped tariffs on products from other countries, including its allies.

According to the state media, Xinhua, the Chinese government imposed additional duties of 25 per cent on 659 items of American products, while also revealed a list of items which will be subjected to additional tariffs.

In May, tensions eased temporarily after Chinese negotiators agreed to buy more American farm goods, natural gas and other products.

The U.S. Trade Representative on Friday released a list of almost 900 Chinese imports that will face a 25 percent tariff starting July 6. Among the affected $16 billion in US goods include crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

Sunday on New York AM 970 radio's "The Cats Roundtable", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) praised President Donald Trump for announcing his intention to impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday.

President Donald Trump officially rolled out tariffs on roughly $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods Friday and threatened further measures if the Chinese government hits back.

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Earlier on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang told journalists that Beijing would fight back.

"China is unwilling to have a trade war, but the Chinese side has no choice but to strongly oppose this, due to the United States' myopic behaviour that will harm both parties", China's Commerce Ministry said on its website. Trump kicked off the action in March with the announcement that the USA would impose tariffs on Chinese goods as punishment for the theft of United States intellectual property by China.

China also said it would scrap promises to purchase more United States goods.

Mr. Trump has made import taxes part of his "America First" policies to counter China's barriers and unfair trade practices.

Mr Trump has cited national security as a reason to threaten punitive tariffs on German cars.

The headline statement from the Trump administration, found here, is that this is a direct response to years of unfair trade practices as well as IP theft that China allowed to blatantly take place. In general terms, they are products containing "industrially significant technologies", like aerospace, robotics and automobiles.

Mnuchin subsequently declared the trade war "on hold". Beijing has offered to buy an additional $70 billion worth of U.S. farm and energy products and other goods, according to Reuters' sources, but Trump has remained intransigent.

And he warned that any retaliation by Beijing would trigger another round of tariffs on Chinese goods.

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