USA announces 25 percent tariffs on Chinese tech goods

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On Tuesday, the White House said it would have a final list of $50 billion in imports that would be subject to 25 percent tariffs by June 15, and two weeks later would announce investment restrictions on Chinese acquisitions of United States technology.

Such complaints have gained prominence amid USA pressure, backed by President Donald Trump's threat to hike tariffs on $150 billion of Chinese goods, for Beijing to narrow its multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.

The United States is also preparing to implement investment restrictions and export controls meant to restrict access of Chinese people and companies to American technology.

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.

The final list of imports covered by the new duty will be announced by 15 June, and tariffs will be imposed on those imports shortly thereafter, it said. In particular, China's favoring of its own companies over foreign firms and its handling of intellectual property rights, or lack there of, with companies that do business on the mainland.

Tuesday's announcement comes amid mixed messages from the White House about a "trade war" with China.

In retaliation, China announced plans to impose new tariffs of 25 per cent worth Dollars 50 billion on 106 American products including items like soybeans which could hurt American farmers.

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The White House also pledged to continue a WTO case it started in March on accusations that China's intellectual property practices violate global trade law. After threatening tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products in April, the president settled earlier this month for what Mnuchin described as a "framework" for progress, following two days of bargaining with Chinese officials in Washington.

US President Donald Trump's top trade adviser undercut Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Washington's position with respect to China on Wednesday, calling Mnuchin's declaration of a pause in trade action against Beijing "an unfortunate sound bite".

In the statement, China also promised to defend its domestic economy in the event that the Trump administration continues the trade attacks. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is due to arrive in Beijing on Saturday for talks aimed at cooling trade tensions between the two countries.

The Chinese government said the announcement "is obviously in violation of the consensus reached in Washington recently by both China and the United States". "We are very surprised by the White House statement". China's Foreign Ministry referred questions to the Commerce Ministry, which did not reply to a fax seeking comment.

Trump also said a deal to ease sanctions on the Chinese tech giant ZTE would be forthcoming.

The president said alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, prior to this week's uncertainty over the Singapore summit, that he has a "much bigger picture" in mind as he considers China trade, a reminder that his trade policies are no longer a matter of campaign rhetoric.

But on Tuesday, the White House accused China of pursuing unfair industrial policies and trade practices - including dumping, discriminatory non-tariffs barriers, forced technology transfer, over capacity, and industrial subsidies. "China urges the U.S. to move in the direction of the spirit of the joint communique".