Trump threatens 'economic retaliation' if China goes after USA workers

Trump orders new tariffs on additional USD 200 Bn worth of Chinese imports

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook had dinner with US President Donald Trump last month, though neither gave details of discussions.

The tariffs will start at 10 percent, then rise to 25 percent on January 1.

"China has had many opportunities to fully address our concerns", Trump said in a statement released Monday evening by the White House.

Trump explained that the new round of tariffs is justified because of unfair trade practices by China.

Beijing has warned that it would hit an additional US$60 billion (NZ$92 billion) in American goods if Trump ordered more tariffs. Tariffs can be effective in narrow cases to offset government subsidies that create cheap exports to the USA and others to boost economic growth, a practice sometimes called "dumping", or to protect endangered domestic industries that have national or cultural importance.

Chinese stock markets opened lower on Tuesday.

"So we've negotiated and negotiated and negotiated and given them chance after chance after chance".

The latest round of products targeted means that Trump has taken aim at half of all the goods the USA imports from China, instantly raising the prices for businesses and consumers that rely on them.

It is also the biggest set of tariffs to date, and unlike the earlier rounds this latest list targets consumer goods, such as luggage and furniture.

U.S. ports have been feeling the pain since the start of the trade spat, the impact ranging from reduced shipments to restricted infrastructural development.

The Chinese say they are willing to talk, but find Trump's tariff threats nothing short of a bullying tactic - and vowed to retaliate.

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While economists generally estimate that the overall economic impact of the tariffs will be a fraction of a percentage point, they caution that the effects are hard to predict.

Which items have been targeted?

. "China's got lots of leverage ... to work around a 10 percent tariff".

But many everyday items such as suitcases, handbags, toilet paper and wool are included in this latest round of tariffs. Businesses will be scouring the final list to find out whether their appeals were heard.

However, some products that help computer networks operate, such as routers, remain on the latest list.

United States officials on Monday slapped the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, but skipped consumer electronics like smartwatches and Bluetooth devices, in a reprieve for firms like Apple and fitness tracker maker Fitbit.

The changes come after fierce opposition from companies, including global tech giants such as Apple, Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Some companies are looking to move out of China to dodge the tariffs, said Ted Murphy, a partner at the Baker McKenzie law firm.

Why is the USA doing this?

The ultra-nationalist group in the administration, led by Peter Navarro, Director of the National Trade Council and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, believes that the USA will win a trade war with China.

In May, in fact, it looked briefly as if Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had brokered a truce built around Chinese promises to buy enough American farm products and liquefied natural gas to put a dent in the trade deficit.

This will allow United States companies some time to adjust their supply chains to alternate countries, a senior administration official said.

According to surveys conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China and the European Chamber of Commerce, trade tensions are already hitting and hurting supply chains of foreign businesses.

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