Trump moving ahead with plan to slap tariffs on Chinese goods

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One while departing the White House in Washington D.C. U.S. on Friday

Trump announces tariffs, limits on tech investment for China ahead of key trade talks

The sudden policy shifts are amplifying an impression of unpredictability that the president believes gives him an edge at the bargaining table even as USA trading partners complain that it erodes American credibility. China threatened to retaliate in kind, leading to fears of a broad trade war.

Pointing to a pause in the trade dispute, the administration pointed to China's plans to "significantly increase" its purchases of US goods and services and make "meaningful increases" in USA exports of agriculture and energy products. Not only this but also White House has announced that it will limit the investment of China.

The White House announcement came on the heels of stiff criticism from lawmakers of the White House 's negotiating tactics and willingness to soften tough penalties in some cases with no benefit to the US. The statement did not reiterate China's own previous threats to impose $50 billion in retaliatory tariffs on USA goods.

This week, the Financial Times reported that Trump would push Beijing to sign long-term contracts for the USA to supply energy and agricultural products including LNG and beef, which would likely lead to a fall in business for United States allies including Australia and the EU.

The International Monetary Fund called on China and the United States to settle their trade dispute.

Mr. Trump has often talked about challenging what he has described as China's unfair trade practices, but his advisers are deeply divided over the best course for doing so.

Several U.S. officials arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for talks, according to a U.S. embassy spokeswoman, including Under Secretary of Agriculture Ted McKinney; the U.S. Trade Representative's chief agricultural negotiator, Gregg Doud; and Commerce Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Alan Turley. It's the most specific the administration has been about when the duties will take effect.

In an unexpected change in tone, the United States said on Tuesday that it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $US50 billion ($A66 billion) of imports from China unless Beijing addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property. The Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 400 points, or 1.6%, as of 12:30 p.m. ET. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

The news follows trade hearings held in Washington earlier this month on the proposed United States tariffs, which have divided opinion between the USA textile industry on the one side, and U.S. apparel and footwear brands and importers on the other.

North Korean official Kim Yong Chol leaves for talks with Mike Pompeo
USA officials familiar with planning said he was scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday. Since then, Trump has voiced optimism that the face-to-face could still take place.

China must address its failure to protect U.S. intellectual property, but these tariffs are not an effective response because it will harm American jobs and consumers, said Erik Paulsen, Joint Economic Committee Chairman Congressman.

The announced investment restrictions also come amid bipartisan criticism of the president's softening of penalties for ZTE, a Chinese telecom company that had traded with Iran and North Korea in defiance of USA sanctions.

ZTE said the USA move threatened it with collapse.

"I think this is a bone to the Congress".

Ivanka Trump does not have a large retail presence in China, but customs records show that the bulk of her company's USA imports are shipped from China.

The tariffs will target goods "containing industrially significant technology" related to the "Made in China 2025" program, the statement said. The White House said a list of products would be announced June 15.

The ban was meant to be punishment for what U.S. officials said were false statements by ZTE over actions it claimed to have taken regarding the illegal sale of goods to Iran and North Korea. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. Last year, Ivanka Trump's business was granted preliminary approval for three trademarks the same day she had dinner with Xi at Mar-a-Lago. But they fear the president's focus on tariffs will hurt them as much as China, by disrupting supply chains, depressing demand for their products and sparking retaliation by Beijing.

Either way, repeated changes to the USA strategy on China may only bog down talks with Beijing moving forward, Reinsch said. "They may have been surprised by the level of concern, especially among Republicans, about ZTE", Moon said. Trump is seeking to curb investment in sensitive technology, ratcheting up pressure on Beijing.

US-China trade tensions have spiked once again after US President Donald Trump said he will proceed with a 25% tariff on US$50bn of goods imported from China.

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