Lawmakers, US allies sound alarm over Trump’s latest tariff moves

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks. Daniel Acker Bloomberg

The Trump administration said the proposed list, which would put 10 percent tariffs on thousands of different categories of Chinese imports, is needed to increase the pressure on Beijing to change what the us calls unfair trade practices.

So far, tariffs imposed by the two countries are expected to have a modest impact on growth and inflation, economists estimate.

TARIFF THREATS: The Trump administration's list includes vacuum cleaners, furniture and auto and bicycle parts but not US -branded smartphones and laptops.

However, a move by China against USA multi-nationals "could pose a far greater threat to the index in time", Jones said. They warned tariffs on imports raise consumer prices and expose US farmers and manufacturers to retaliation.

He said the plastics industry needs a "reliable, rational approach to trade".

John Connelly, president of the National Fisheries Institute, the U.S. seafood industry's most influential trade group, is calling on USA president Donald Trump and China to pick up a children's book and end their trade dispute.

US President Donald Trump has said he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of US imports from China previous year.

"If the WTO is to remain relevant to the worldwide trading system, change is necessary".

Many companies in the USA are opposed to the administration's use of tariffs against China, saying they risk hurting business and the economy without being likely to change behaviour.

Most U.S. businesses operating in China oppose the use of tariffs in retaliation for the challenges they face, from an uneven playing field to poor protection of intellectual property rights, a survey showed on Thursday.

Sources at other state-run news agencies told Reuters that they were instructed not to report on whether the trade war is negatively affecting Chinese businesses.

China could also exploit its strong hold over the rare earth metals market, which is crucial to US electronics - and especially to our military technology.

"American families are the ones being punished". What confuses China the most about Trump's actions?

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer writes that these new tariffs come as a response to how Beijing retaliated to the initial tariffs - quickly implementing matching tariffs on the same amount of US exports to China. He said: "As in the past, the United States is willing to engage in efforts that could lead to a resolution of our concerns about China's unfair trade practices and to China opening its market to USA goods and services".

President Donald Trump accuses China of unfair trade practices that benefit its firms while hobbling USA companies and creating an outsized trade deficit for the United States.

The second list of proposed tariffs includes some key ingredients to the food and dietary supplement sector. But Trump hasn't backed down, arguing that China's unfair trading practices are hurting American workers.

Chinese President Xi Jinping appears to be treading carefully to avoid a public relations mess, analysts say.

Flooring products included on list are vinyl; plastic; wood-both engineered and solid; bamboo; cork; carpet-tufted and woven; tile; and ceramic-glazed and unglazed.

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