Economy

USTR ends public comment on third China tariff list

USTR ends public comment on third China tariff list

The public comment period for President Donald Trump's proposed new round of tariffs on Chinese goods-worth an escalation-tastic $200 billion this time-ended Thursday. "And I hate to say this, but behind that is another $267bn ready to go on short notice if I want". To a certain extent its going to be up to China, Trump said.

The tariffs would potentially hurt USA companies that import everything from handbags to bicycle tires.

Bloomberg News reported Friday that administration officials are discussing using an executive order that authorizes USA officials to impose the sanctions on those taking part in "malicious cyber-enabled activities".

He previously had threatened to hit 100 percent of imports from China if the country failed to address USA concerns over theft of U.S. technology and barriers to American goods and investments.

In Beijing, China's Commerce Ministry said Thursday it was ready to retaliate. Those tactics, the Office of the US Trade Representative has alleged, include stealing trade secrets through computer hacking and forcing US companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

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The implementation of tariffs on $200 billion of products from China "will take place very soon depending on what happens", Trump told reporters on Air Force One on Friday. China has warned that it would retaliate with import taxes on $60 billion worth of US goods.

The Trump administration has already slapped duties on $50 billion of Chinese exports since July, which spurred immediate in-kind retaliation from Beijing.

"China will have to take necessary countermeasures if the USA side ignores the opposition of the overwhelming majority of its enterprises and adopts new tariff measures", Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday. The administration has asserted that Trump's tariffs would force China to trade on more favorable terms with the United States. "Now, they've got to treat us fairly", he said, and again threatened to impose duties on cars produced in Canada.

However, she seemed to have a different position than Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo on the relationship between the NAFTA talks and the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. "But I will say this: the world trading system is broken".

The NAFTA talks between Washington and Ottawa have been hung up over Canada's insistence on retaining a dispute resolution mechanism in Chapter 19 and USA objections over Ottawa's tight controls over the dairy market.