US finalises next China tariff list targeting US$16 billion in imports

The action is the latest by US President Donald Trump to put pressure on China to negotiate trade concessions.
The action is the latest by US President Donald Trump to put pressure on China to negotiate trade concessions.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States will begin collecting tariffs on another US$16 billion (S$22 billion) in Chinese goods on Aug 23, the US Trade Representative's office said on Tuesday (Aug 7) as it published a final tariff list targeting 279 import product lines.

The action is the latest by US President Donald Trump to put pressure on China to negotiate trade concessions after imposing tariffs on US$34 billion in goods last month.

The latest list brings the total Chinese imports that face a 25 per cent tariff to about US$50 billion in a rapidly escalating trade war that could eventually see duties slapped on all goods traded between the world's two largest economies.

China has vowed to retaliate to an equal degree.

The latest US$16 billion list will hit semiconductors from China, even though many of the basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.

The 25 per cent tariffs also will apply to a broad range of Chinese electronics, plastics, chemicals and railway equipment that the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has said benefit from the "Made in China 2025" industrial plan, aimed at making China competitive in high-technology industries.

The USTR removed a handful of items from its original list after a 46-day public comment and review period found they would cause"severe economic harm".

These were intermodal shipping containers, floating docks, splitting and slicing machines used with wood, bone and hard plastics, extremely thin slicing tools known as microtomes, and alginic acid derived from seaweed and used in pharmaceuticals, textile printing and dental impressions.

Mr Trump has also threatened 25 per cent tariffs on another US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and possibly another US$300 billion worth, in his administration's quest for changes to China's intellectual property, market access and industrial subsidy policies.