China Cuts Tariffs on Wide Range of Consumer Goods From July

Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a signing ceremony during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing China

US Pushes China to Buy its Oil and Gas in Wake of Trade Row- Reports REUTERS Jason Lee

When Trump first directed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to levy tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports in March, following a months-long investigation into intellectual property theft, the move was hailed as a victory for trade hawks in the Trump administration.

The Trump administration, however, signaled this week that it is moving ahead with 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, and installing a slew of new restrictions on investments and visas.

Earlier, in the height of a trade row, the Trump administration had demanded China to reduce its $375 billion trade surplus against the by $100 billion while China retaliated with similar measures imports from the US. The final tariff list will be made public by June 15 with the new import taxes taking effect shortly thereafter.

Mr Ross is set to arrive in Beijing on Saturday where he is expected to try to get China to agree to firm numbers to buy more U.S. goods, but the latest aggressive move from Washington could cast doubt over whether negotiations can progress to the next level.

"For many years, China has pursued industrial policies and unfair trade practices - including dumping, discriminatory non-tariff barriers, forced technology transfer, overcapacity, and industrial subsidies - that champion Chinese firms and make it impossible for many United States firms to compete on a level playing field", it said. The list of restrictions and controls will be announced by 30 June.

China faces a hard decision over whether to follow through with a response to US tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports.

"If Chinese businesses can make an investment in the U.S., American companies should be able to make the same investment in China".

China retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about United States dollars three billion on 128 U.S. products.

The statement further read, "The United States will continue efforts to protect domestic technology and intellectual property, stop noneconomic transfers of industrially significant technology and intellectual property to China, and enhance access to the Chinese market".

However, the U.S. has yet to publish a list of target products for the $100 billion, and the White House statement on Tuesday made no reference to the second potential tranche of duties.

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It was yet another apparent change of course for Trump, who veers from harsh threats to promises of compromise and back again on trade and other more sensitive issues.

China commerce's ministry reacted harshly to the United States trade announcement, saying it was surprised and saw it as contrary to the consensus both sides reached recently.

"With so many head-spinning reversals on trade from the USA in recent weeks, we suspect the Chinese negotiators and the markets have started to tune out the noise and focus on the substance", Tom Orlik, Bloomberg's chief Asia economist in Beijing, wrote in a report.

"We don't believe tariffs are the appropriate way to proceed", said the chamber's policy committee chairman, Lester Ross, adding that such duties would ultimately constitute a tax on United States consumers.

The US will move forward with a complaint against China at the World Trade Organization.

In addition, as part of the ongoing talks "the United States will request that China remove all of its many trade barriers, including non-monetary trade barriers, which make it both hard and unfair to do business there".

Her company, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, already holds more than a dozen trademarks in China and has multiple applications pending, CREW said.

When asked by NPR as to why the trade war had resumed, Navarro responded: "That was an unfortunate soundbite, basically for two reasons", he said in regard to Mnuchin's words.

Economists estimate that U.S. exports could rise by up to $90 billion over a period of years.

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