USA announces timeline for 25% tariff on Chinese tech products

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After significant back-and-forth over the past few months, the White House intends to follow through with a pledge to place tariffs on imported Chinese technology goods while also tightening restrictions on investments by Chinese firms into American companies.

Mr. Trump has bemoaned the massive US trade deficit with China - $337 billion previous year - as evidence that Beijing has been complicit in abusive trading practices. What goods will be included in the tariff policy has been up for debate, but the final list will be released on June 15th.

"To protect our national security, the United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology", the statement reads. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is expected to travel to China later in the week. The White House also says the USA is planning new investment restrictions and export controls.

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President Trump signed a memorandum in late March announcing the administration would take steps to protect domestic technology and intellectual property from China's "discriminatory and burdensome" trade practices.

China pressed the U.S.to give ZTE a break after the Commerce Department cut off the company from USA suppliers to punish it for allegedly lying to American officials in a sanctions case.

The US is pushing China to remove tariffs on foreign companies and stop practices that allegedly encourage transfer of intellectual property to Chinese companies, such as requirements that foreign firms share ownership with local partners to access the Chinese market.

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After Beijing promised to retaliate in kind to any duties, the president raised the ante to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier that the United States and China had both put a hold on tariffs and agreed to a framework for a trade deal.

While the White House has not confirmed the full list of product types that will be subjected to the 25 per cent tariffs, it did note that the tech-heavy Made in China 2025 strategy will be targeted.

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"Mnuchin's "trade war on hold" comments look to have been repudiated this morning, and possibly his investment stance, too", said Derek Scissors, a China analyst at American Enterprise Institute in Washington. Trump announced on Tuesday that was moving forward with tariffs on Chinese imports.

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