USA considering higher tariffs on US$ 200 bil. of Chinese goods

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On Wednesday, the Trump administration threatened to more than double proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods with a 25 percent tariff, up from its initial 10 percent duty.

In the coming weeks, the USTR will analyze the president's proposal and will open a public consultation period in late August so that U.S. companies can offer their opinions on the measure.

President Trump is ratcheting up trade tensions with China, threatening to increase proposed tariffs on Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent.

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"If we're going to use tariffs, this gives us more flexibility and it's a more meaningful threat", he said, adding that Trump's pressure strategy will not work if he does not resolve trade disputes with USA allies such as the European Union, Mexico and Canada. The tariffs target a range of Chinese imports like dog food, furniture, vehicle tires, beauty products, and food products, in addition to steel and aluminum.

Two trump administration officials told reporters on a conference call that Trump remains open to communications with Beijing and that through informal conversations the two countries are discussing whether a "fruitful negotiation" is possible."We don't have anything to announce today about a specific event, or a specific round of discussions, but communication remains open and we are trying to figure out whether the conditions present themselves for a specific engagement between the two sides", one of the officials said.

Raising the proposed tax rate on those goods means extending the deadline for public comment on the plan from August 30 to September 5.

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"Unilateral threats and pressure will only produce the opposite of the desired result", Geng continued. After Liu visited Washington later that month, the nations released a joint statement pledging to reduce the US trade deficit with China, among other things. "Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against us workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses". China responded by implementing its own penalties on US goods. "If the USA takes measures to further escalate the situation, we will surely take countermeasures to uphold our legitimate rights and interests", spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference on Wednesday.

Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth, and prominent USA business groups have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs. -China Business Council, said a 10 percent tariff on these products is already problematic, but more than doubling that to 25 percent would be much worse.

The $200 billion list of goods targeted for tariffs - which also include Chinese tilapia fish, printed circuit boards and lighting products - would have a bigger impact on consumers than previous rounds of tariffs.

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But Trump's tariffs have drawn criticism at home in the United States for driving up costs for consumers and companies that rely on Chinese imports. China responded by posing the same level of tariffs on $34 billion in US exports to China.

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