U.S. ramps up trade row with China, threatens new tariffs

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The Trump administration announced Tuesday it is preparing a new package of tariffs targeting Chinese exports valued around $200 billion, the latest escalation in the trade war with Beijing.

The US was expected to impose new tariffs targeting around $US16b in Chinese goods this week, and China had been expected to respond with similar duties.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the tariffs of 10 percent are "a result of China's retaliation and failure to change its practices" in response to earlier U.S. tariffs.

The U.S.is now considering levying duties on a further $16 billion in Chinese goods, after a public hearing later this month.

The dollar was buoyant, supported by mounting trade tensions and Wednesday's strong USA inflation data.

For the full list, see the 205-page document.

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The initial U.S. tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products in an attempt to limit the impact on American consumers.

He said Donald Trump has a challenge ahead.

"The markets had some time to digest the latest trade war developments and are poised to begin consolidating".

The new list published on Tuesday targets many more consumer goods than those covered under the tariffs imposed last week, raising the direct threat to consumers and retail firms. He said his office "will proceed with a transparent and comprehensive public notice and comment process prior to the imposition of final tariffs, as we have for previous tariffs".

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has supported Trump's domestic tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, but it has been critical of Trump's aggressive tariff policies.

"Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple".

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Chinese officials are expected to retaliate in other ways, hitting USA firms in China with unplanned inspections, delays in approving financial transactions and other administrative headaches. Both governments have raised tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other's goods and already said they are considering additional charges on another $16 billion. "Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war", said Hun Quach, the head of worldwide trade policy for the group.

"The President has broken his promise to bring 'maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers, ' and American families are the ones being punished", Hun Quach, RILA VP of global trade, said in a statement.

His administration has already imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from the EU, Mexico and Canada at the end of May, prompting Ottawa to retaliate in kind against some United States exports.

In commodities, U.S. crude futures inched up 0.25 per cent to $70.57 a barrel after tumbling 5 per cent the previous day as trade tensions threatened to hurt oil demand and news that Libya would reopen its ports raised expectations of growing supply.

"In part because they have only limited ammunition and in part because it's still early in the process on the U.S. side", Mr Kuijs added.

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