Trump Adds Tariffs on USD 200 Bn of Chinese Imports

U.S. President Donald TrumpImage Courtesy: The White House

The Trump Administration is to proceed with placing additional tariffs on some USD 200 billion worth of imports from China, which will take effect on September 24.

The latest round of tariffs will be set at a level of 10 percent until the end of the year. On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25 percent, the US President said in a statement released on Monday.

Trump warned that if China takes retaliatory action against US farmers or other industries, “we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately USD 267 billion of additional imports.”

The move follows the Section 301 process that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been leading for more than 12 months. After a thorough study, the USTR concluded that China “is engaged in numerous unfair policies and practices relating to United States technology and intellectual property – such as forcing United States companies to transfer technology to Chinese counterparts.”

Trump further said that US has previously urged China to change these practices and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies. He added that, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices.

Following the publishing of the USD 200 billion list by the US, China responded by releasing four lists worth in total USD 60 billion, to be tariffed between 5% and 25%.

“For the first time in this trade war, the latest round has seen China unable to respond equally to the USD 200 billion measures announced by the US. With China importing much less than it exports to the US, if the trade war continues to unfold, China will have to look away from tariffing imports to find its retaliatory measures,” Peter Sand, BIMCO’s chief shipping analyst, said.

According to BIMCO, some 85.3% of Chinese seaborne imports from the US and 58.5% of US seaborne imports from China could become affected by the trade war. While containerized goods have already been targeted by the USD 50 billion round, the biggest impact on these will come with the implementation of tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of goods.

So far, the tariffed goods total to 6.6 million tonnes of seaborne trade from China to the US in 2017. This is equivalent to 660,000 TEU. A further 22.4 million tonnes of seaborne containerized goods would be impacted by the US 200 billion list, affecting a total of 1.5% of the global seaborne container trade, BIMCO informed.

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