US sets public hearing dates for previously announced proposed tariffs on Chinese goods

The US in June announced 25 per cent tariffs on a total of US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The US in June announced 25 per cent tariffs on a total of US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS, AFP) - The United States Trade Representative's office said on Monday (July 23) that it would hold public hearings on July 24 and July 25 on its proposal to impose tariffs on a list of US$16 billion (S$22 billion) worth of Chinese goods.

The proposed tariffs are in response to China's practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation, the office said in a statement.

The US in June announced 25 per cent tariffs on a total of US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

On July 6, Washington started imposing the tariff on US$34 billion worth of Chinese mechanical and technological products, including aircraft parts and computer hard drives.

The move sparked an immediate response from Beijing, which retaliated on US$34 billion of US goods, largely agricultural products designed to hurt Mr Trump's supporters. China also accused the US of starting the "largest trade war in economic history".

The US Trade Representative's office said at that time that tariffs on the remaining US$16 billion worth of Chinese goods - mainly energy, plastics and chemicals - would go into effect after a public comment period.

The office has now confirmed the dates for the public hearings.

Since the first round of tariffs were implemented, proposed tariffs on more Chinese imports have been announced.

On July 10, the US Trade Representative's office announced the list of another US$200 billion in Chinese export goods that will be targeted for 10 per cent tariffs as soon as September. The goods include fish, grains, luggage, plywood, carpets, stone, ceramics and glass, as well as products made from copper and nickel.

In an interview with CNBC on July 20, US President Donald Trump warned that he could ratchet his measures up to US$500 billion in Chinese imports - all of what China sells to the US in a year - if Beijing continues to retaliate.