Trump Administration Prepares $200 Billion in Additional Tariffs on Chinese Imports

Workers assembling smartphones in Guang'an Sichuan

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said there was "no justification" for China's retaliation.

He said one has shifted final assembly of goods to a newly created American unit.

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David Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron, said the pressure on Mr. Trump will mount as the economic pain spreads from affected companies to be more widely felt by consumers.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, responded to Lighthizer's announcement with dismay.

"It looks like the US just took the scale of the trade frictions to another level", Li said at a forum in Beijing. The move escalates the trade war between the world's two largest economies. Oil had risen the previous day, supported by a larger-than expected USA stock draw and supply concerns in Norway and Libya.

"For over a year, the Trump Administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", he said in a statement. "That is nearly certainly a serious miscalculation".

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China's yuan lost more than 0.5 percent against the dollar and back towards an 11-month low plumbed last week.

US officials say they remain willing to bargain.

"This demonstrates the lack of skilled economists and diplomats in the U.S. administration".

The Trump administration has accused companies in China of repeatedly committing intellectual property theft and other unfair trade practices, while it says China's government remains unresponsive to its concerns.

Trump authorized an initial $50 billion in tariffs - including the $34 billion that took effect Friday - to match those losses.

The trade confrontation between Washington and Beijing has been escalating for months, despite Trump's repeated statements that he has a good relationship with China's President Xi Jinping.

A senior administration official called the package about equal to China's total export value with the United States, CNBC reported.

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The additional 6,031 product lines would be hit with a 10 percent tariff. A public hearing is scheduled for August 20-23.

"Trump's escalation of trade hostilities makes it increasingly hard to envision an exit path from an all-out trade war".

"China has no option but to fight fire with fire".

Beijing, meanwhile, has unveiled measures to help Chinese companies absorb the US trade blows, pledging to funnel money collected from its own import levies to firms and workers tangled in the escalating trade war.

The US is planning to implement 25 per cent tariffs on a further $US16 billion worth of Chinese imports within the next fortnight. "Given China's likelihood of retaliation, it's also billions worth of new tariffs on American exporters".

"Xi Jinping and the Communist Party do not face midterm elections in November", Rank said of the Chinese president, who is no longer bound by term limits.

The latest salvo is part of Mr. Trump's multifront trade war, which has seen Washington take on its rivals and allies alike in a bid to fulfill the President's promise of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

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