Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

White House says Trump's resolve is firm on China trade


China's government has announced a US$60 billion list of American goods including coffee, honey and industrial chemicals for retaliation if Washington goes ahead with its latest tariff threat.

The Chinese finance ministry said 5,207 goods imported from the U.S. could be subjected to the fresh tariffs, with levies ranging from 5% to 25% on products including aircraft, soya bean oil, smoked beef, coffee and flour.

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Friday ridiculed China's threat of $60 billion of retaliatory tariffs as "weak" and said the world's second-largest economy was in "trouble".

In July, Washington fired the first salvo in the escalating trade war with Beijing by introducing 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports worth $34 billion.

Days later, Washington unveiled a list of another $200 billion in Chinese goods, from areas as varied as electrical machinery, leather goods and seafood, that would be hit with 10 percent import duties. Washington also wants China to stop subsidizing Chinese companies with cheap loans, claiming that this allows them to compete unfairly.

"Instead of retaliating, China should address the long-standing concerns about its unfair trading practices", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in an emailed statement.

The two countries have been embroiled for months in a trade conflict that has threatened to hurt consumers in both countries.

While the tariffs imposed by the European Union still remain in place, the bloc has agreed not to implement more while negotiators from Washington and Brussels attempt to thrash out a deal.

The commerce ministry threat came after Wang met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore on Friday.

"How can talks take place under this pressure?", he added.

They will apply to 5,207 American-made goods, including a range of agricultural products such as vegetable oils, smoked and salted beef, wheat flour and wine.

The market is not large by value compared with the around $16 billion per year of USA crude that arrives in the country, but those levels could shoot up as Beijing forges ahead with its plan to switch millions ofhouseholds to the fuel away from coal as part of its battle against smog. Helicopters with an empty weight of less than 2 tonnes were also on that list.

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