The White House on Tuesday said a list of Chinese products facing a 25 percent tariff will be released by June 15, along with other measures and a range of "enhanced export controls" barring China's access to U.S. technology by the end of June.
A USA business group says American companies in China are uneasy about Washington's threat of export and investment controls in a trade dispute with Beijing but see them as a possible way to achieve fairer operating conditions.
Earlier on Tuesday, Washington said it was still considering slapping 25 % tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods in retaliation for what the Trump administration says is China's unfair trade practices.
The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, and tariffs will be imposed on those imports shortly thereafter, it said. But this latest flip-flop could damage the credibility of the USA and President Trump.
The news comes just ten days after US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested the Trump administration would "put the trade war on hold" - along with the tariffs. In retaliation, China threatened to impose a 25 percent tariff on Dollars 50 billion worth of United States exports.
The trade-related actions were announced following a report by the Office of the US Trade Representative regarding China's practices with respect to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation. China said the claims were unproven and sometimes speculative. "China's attitude, as always, is: we do not want to fight, but we are also not afraid to fight", said one Xinhua reporter.More news: FBI Issues Warning After Russia Malware Attacks: 'Reboot Your Routers'
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But there had been some hope among free traders and the anti-tariff camp that the stiffer tariffs would ever ultimately go into effect after the two countries launched a trade dialogue earlier this month in Beijing. The investigation determined that Beijing commits intellectual property theft and forces foreign companies to hand over valuable data in order to operate in the Chinese market and compete with domestic firms.
The US will also continue to pursue litigation at the World Trade Organisation for violations of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights based on China " s discriminatory practices for licensing intellectual property, the statement said.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is set to travel to Beijing at the weekend amid growing tensions.
In the same statement on Tuesday, the White House said that the US will "continue to pursue litigation at the World Trade Organization" over allegations that China steals USA intellectual property. "As the USA and China prepare for another round of negotiations, we hope the administration has clearly defined objectives and concrete solutions to resolve this trade dispute without tariffs". China had promised to retaliate in a move that threatened a tit for tat trade war.
China has made progress on reforms but should allow market forces to play a more decisive role and accelerate its opening up to the rest of the world, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.