USA seeking to impose tariffs up to $60b on Chinese imports

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstroem right speaks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Saturday in Brussels where the EU is seeking clarity about whether the 28-nation bloc will be exempt from the new steel and aluminum tar

The possible tariffs against China follow a report from Politico, in which Trump rejected a proposal by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that called for tariffs on $30 billion of Chinese imports.

The source said that the tariffs would not be limited to technology and telecommunications equipment.

While complaints about China's abuse of intellectual property rights are not confined to the United States, Trump's global steel and aluminum tariffs announced last week complicate Washington's efforts to recruit allies to help put pressure on China.

"While risks of escalation in US-China trade tensions exist, we expect China to remain relatively restrained in its response and, as a result, overall economic damage to stay contained", Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics said in a note. Putting a value on the intellectual property that Chinese individuals have reportedly siphoned from US companies has been particularly vexing. Standing with Trump are workers, left, Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Still, some products face very high, if not prohibitive tariffs.

"A tariff is a tax, plain and simple", said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF. I think there are good reasons why both sides will accept, at the end of the day, that we don't need, we don't want, a trade war.

A senior European diplomat in Beijing said China would be relieved to see Europe and Washington at odds over the metals tariffs.

The move drew consternation outside the U.S.


"If this is serious, the Chinese will retaliate".

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"These measures could make a significant impact on the economic and cooperative relationship between Japan and the US, who are allies", said Japan's foreign minister, Taro Kono.

The heightened possibility of a trade war and Tillerson's departure reduced investor risk appetite, even as US inflation data released on Tuesday showed an annual core inflation of 1.8 percent, which met expectations and would have likely increased risk appetite under a different political climate.

While that is not a lot for the economy as a whole, it would be painful for the individual industry.

Moreover, Trump is targeting German automakers in particular but these companies manufacture a significant number of autos in the United States itself, including for export to other countries.

Mr Trump is targeting Chinese high technology companies to punish China for its investment policies that effectively force United States companies to give up their technology secrets in exchange for being allowed to operate in the country, as well as for other IP practices Washington considers unfair.

Steel producing countries worry not just about lost sales in the USA, but also that steel from other exporting nations will flood in. That would hurt producers but boost profits of construction and other industries in Southeast Asia. If they drop their horrific barriers & tariffs on USA products going in, we will likewise drop ours.

Indonesia said that while it the steel and aluminum tariffs are not a big problem for its industry, the country would be in trouble if the USA targeted its palm oil, a key export used in a huge number of consumer products. "Make trade not war, Mr President", he said. Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the country had the option of retaliating against imports of USA soybeans, wheat and aircraft.



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