Trump's China Trade War Just Escalated by $16 Billion

U.S.-China trade war update Motorcycles and railway cars are among the $16 billion in items U.S. is targeting next

The Trump administration ramped up the pressure for trade concessions from Beijing last week by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Chinese data on Wednesday showed exports to the United States rose 13.3% in July to $41.5 billion against a year ago.

President Trump had repeatedly expressed discontent over the U.S. trade deficit with China, accusing the country of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, and of providing state aid to Chinese firms.

"Looking ahead, we expect export growth to cool in the coming months, though this will primarily reflect softer global growth rather than U.S. tariffs, the direct impact of which will continue to be mostly offset by the renminbi's (yuan's) recent depreciation", Capital Economics' Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note.

The Office United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced the tariffs in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon US time. For instance, the major complaint is about the theft of USA intellectual property by Chinese firms.

"With each successive round of tariffs, Trump continues to back China into a corner, forcing Beijing to respond in kind", said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of worldwide law firm Perkins Coie and a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

Negotiations broke off after the Trump administration imposed the tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports, a move the Chinese said would void any promises they'd made in negotiations.

Mr Trump has said he would be willing to hit all of China's imports with duties.

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Wednesday's Chinese data provide the first readings of the overall trade picture for the world's second-largest economy since U.S duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports came into effect on July 6.

ANZ senior China economist Betty Wang said Beijing will likely resist using its closely managed currency as a tool in the trade war.

Several large American companies have said they would adjust their supply chains to source outside of China if tariffs on Chinese goods impacted them, while China's Haier Group (1169.HK) said rising steel prices amid hefty USA import tariffs was driving up costs for its business in America.

Trump has threatened to levy a 25% tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to the United States - a move that would blow open the disagreement between the countries.

All China's main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled "declaration", on their front pages.

Americans import far more from China than the other way around, however, meaning Beijing may at some point need to look for other means of retaliation.

"Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems", it said.

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