US plans 25% tariffs on 1,300 Chinese imports

US plans 25% tariffs on 1,300 Chinese imports

The US has published a list of about 1,300 products from China it plans to hit with a 25% tariff.

The White House says the proposed extra tax on the imports is a response to unfair Chinese practices around intellectual property rights.

The wide-ranging list includes items such as medical products, televisions and motorcycles.

Economists have warned the move could prompt China to retaliate and lead to higher prices for American consumers.

The release of the list comes just after China hit $3bn worth of US products with tariffs in response to steel and aluminium tariffs the US has imposed.

The products on the list the US published on Tuesday represent imports worth about $50bn annually.

Last year the US imported goods from China worth about $506bn.

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The office of the US Trade Representative, which handles trade negotiations, said the amount is “appropriate both in light of the estimated harm to the US economy and to obtain elimination of China’s harmful acts, policies and practices”.

A final list will be determined after a 30-day period of public comment.

The plans for tariffs are the result of an investigation that US President Donald Trump ordered last year into China’s intellectual property practices.

Last month, he said the probe found evidence of problems, such as practices that pressure US companies to share technology with Chinese firms and ordered a list of products drawn up for tariffs.

Trade war fears

US business groups have urged the two sides to try to resolve the issues through talks and expressed concern that threatening tariffs could lead to a dispute that hurts the US economy.

The US Chamber of Commerce said: “The administration is rightly focused on restoring equity and fairness in our trade relationship with China. However, imposing taxes on products used daily by American consumers and job creators is not the way to achieve those ends.”

China’s economy has become less dependent on exports in recent years.

The US is the destination for only about 15% of China’s good exports, which is likely to blunt the effect of tariffs, according to analysts for S&P Global Ratings.

“However, the situation remains dynamic, with the risk of further tariffs and restrictions on investments and market access,” they wrote in a report last month.

“A trade war between the world’s two largest economies would hurt global confidence, economic growth, and credit.”

The US imported about $506bn goods from China in 2017

Source: BBC News

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