Doubling of China trade tariffs 'ready to go'

Cisco Systems Inc. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. and other technology companies sent a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthiser urging the administration to avoid imposing more tariffs

The deadline for public comment on the next wave of punitive taxes on $200 billion of annual imports from China expires Thursday, and Trump reportedly wants to impose the tariffs immediately.

Speaking in a television interview, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said that the administration would be reviewing the roughly 6,000 comments members of the public had made to the US Trade Representative on the $200bn proposals before deciding on how to proceed with the tariffs.

Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, mostly industrial machinery and intermediate electronics parts, including semiconductors.

These US goods include soybeans and beef - a direct shot at supporters of President Donald Trump in the US farm belt.

The U.S. trade deficit rose to a five-month high in July as exports of soybeans and civilian aircraft declined and imports hit a record high, suggesting the Trump administration's protectionist policy was so far not having an impact.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "An adverse announcement by the USA will invoke retaliatory tariffs from China, and this could rattle already nervy markets amid escalating trade tensions", said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank.

But U.S. analysts cautioned it would be a mistake to assume Democratic Party gains in November's congressional elections would change Trump's calculus on China, given widespread business support for Trump's goals of protecting American intellectual property and shifting China's economy onto a more market-driven path.

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He pointed out that 23 per cent of the impending tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports targeted consumer products. For gadget nerds, this seems like a sad and obvious conclusion to the spate of escalating tariffs that the USA and China have been slinging back and forth since Trump got all this started back in autumn.

TRT World's Patrick Fok has more.

US President Donald Trump's administration has threatened 25 percent tariffs on the Chinese imports, including seafood, furniture, lighting products, tires, chemicals and plastics. "Recent data shows that China's foreign trade has stabilized and the growth momentum has been consolidated". Trade deals with the European Union and Japan also give Trump leverage to take on China.

U.S. businesses are warning that Trump's trade gambit will inflict damage at home.

Both Apple and Intel are warning that President Trump's trade war with China will increase prices for consumer electronics, including the Apple Watch and AirPods.

MinkeeBlue relies on low-priced imports to be able to sell for less than $200 an all-purpose bag for working women that holds shoes and a lunch bag.

Canada Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said USA and Canadian technical officials worked through the night on a number of issues. "People have been saying, 'I'm too tough on Canada, '" he said. China could begin punishing the hundreds of American businesses that operate in China, for instance.

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