Trump moving ahead with plan to slap tariffs on Chinese goods

White House Moves Ahead With Tough Trade Measures on China

President Donald Trump is moving ahead with steps to protect US intellectual property by punishing China with broad investment restrictions, litigation at the World Trade Organization and hefty tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The tariffs will target goods "containing industrially significant technology" related to the "Made in China 2025" program, the statement said.

The White House said the Trump administration would also move forward with restrictions on Chinese investment and with stronger export controls meant to limit the access that Chinese people and companies have to American technology - a measure the administration said was for national security purposes. The Trump administration has sought to reduce the USA trade deficit with China by increasing the amount of U.S. exports to the country.

The White House has said it will impose 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese imports "shortly" after mid-June.

The announcement comes as a surprise since Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier this month that the imposition of tariffs would be suspended as American negotiators continued trade talks with their Chinese counterparts.

The latest step follows a March report by the US Trade Representative Office, which undertook a seven-month investigation of China's handling of technology transfers and intellectual property, according to the White House's statement.

"China's attitude, as always, is: we do not want to fight, but we are also not afraid to fight", it said in a commentary.

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The White House statement also said the USA plans to continue litigation at the World Trade Organisation over China's intellectual-property practices.

The final list of covered imports subject to tariffs will be announced by June 15.

The announcement comes as the USA administration negotiates with China on a broad trade dispute.

Mr. Trump has often talked about challenging what he has described as China's unfair trade practices, but his advisers are deeply divided over the best course for doing so. However, the U.S. has yet to publish a list of target products for the US$100 billion worth of products, and the White House statement makes no reference to the second potential tranche of duties. And on May 26, the president celebrated on Twitter that a deal had been struck, and ZTE would be allowed to import parts from the United States provided it paid a $1.3bn fine for past screw ups.

Beijing has previously pledged to retaliate against the 25 percent tariffs.

But when Trump subsequently said he would ease penalties against ZTE in order to save Chinese jobs, this drew a sharp backlash from his supporters.

The deal to reduce China's trade surplus with the USA was separate from the US probe into China's alleged theft of intellectual property.

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