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First round of USA tariffs on Chinese goods to hit $50B - USTR

08 August 2018

China will impose tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of us products, officials announced Wednesday, marking the latest parry in an escalating trade war between the two countries. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are under pressure early Wednesday after China said it will retaliate against the latest round of us tariffs on Chinese imports.

But there seems no solution at sight as the Trump administration prepares for tariffs of up to 25 per cent on an additional United States dollars 200 billion in Chinese products.

Representatives for the White House, the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

China's July exports rose 12.2 percent from a year earlier, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase according to the latest Reuters poll, and up from a 11.2 percent gain in June.

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The Trump administration is escalating the trade war between the world's two largest economies by slapping new tariffs on Chinese imports.

The latest commentary from state media on Wednesday took a softer line after resorting to personal attacks against Trump earlier in the week, saying China could get through the storm but refrained from directly mentioning the US President.

Sales to the U.S. rose by 13.3%, while China's surplus with the States shrank marginally to $28.1bn (£21.7bn) last month from a record $29bn (£22.4bn) in June.

In May, Chinese importers trying to beat Beijing's looming counter-tariffs led to a surge in USA exports of crude oil and soybeans, temporarily driving down the trade deficit and helping boost GDP growth in the April-June period to 4.1 percent. While there's no major risk of the world lapsing into "damaging stagflation", the possibility remains of a "bigger blow-up" that sharply reduces trade, as in the 1930s, it said. China responded by promising to hit $60 billion worth of U.S. goods coming into the country with tariffs.

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Washington imposed 25% duties on $34bn (£26.3bn) of Chinese goods on 6 July in response to those complaints.

Analysts from Oxford Economics have predicted that China's GDP growth may slow to 6.4 per cent this year, from 6.9 per cent in 2017, as the effects of the trade war weigh. China's exports to the United States fell by 2.5 percent to $41.5 billion month-on-month, while imports of U.S. goods plunged 1.5 percent to $13.4 billion, according to data from General Administration of Customs on Wednesday, as quoted by the media.

His administration confirmed that its trade assault would soon cover more than $50 billion of products from China.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the measure will come into effect on August 23, the same day as America's latest levies.

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First round of USA tariffs on Chinese goods to hit $50B - USTR