Trump may impose tariffs on up to $60bn of Chinese imports

Trump may impose tariffs on up to $60bn of Chinese imports

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer presented to Trump the package of tariffs, the damage from which for Chinese imports into the United States of America may be about $30 billion a year. A source told Reuters that the tariffs could come "in the very near future" and could include up to 100 products, also outside of the tech sector.

And, he added, instead of threatening a trade war, Trump should restart the trans-Atlantic free trade negotiations between the US and the European Union which began under former president Barack Obama but were never finished.

The planned tariffs will act as punishment to China for it's stringent investment policies that pressure foreign companies to reveal intellectual property secrets if they are to set up business in the country. The proposed tariffs are based upon findings from an investigation by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer which was formed to determine whether China's practices are discriminatory or restrictive for U.S. commerce.

Higher tariffs on these products would "hurt American families", said Hun Quach, a trade lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

China has a trade surplus of more than $375 billion with the USA and when the lead economic adviser for President Xi Jinping recently visited Washington, the administration pushed him to give them a way China could reduce that number. Earlier this year, Trump pulled the USA out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

A China-based business source with knowledge of discussion among senior European officials said there had been a "clear effort" by the United States government over the past six months to introduce a coordinated approach to Chinese industrial policy, but that Trump's metals tariffs had undermined European support.

That would spook stock markets, but Scissors said the more serious the conflict became, the worse China's position would become, because of the importance of its United States trade surplus. 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.

Trump has spoken strongly about China's alleged theft of intellectual property, as well as the wider trade surplus it maintains with the US.

Trump recently imposed steep aluminum and steel tariffs on China, while accusing the country of propping up wasteful factories. "He's serious about calling their hand on this, and my understanding is they are looking at a broad array of options to do that", U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said to reporters.