Trump's Prepares China Trade War, $200 Billion in Tariffs

China has described Donald Trump's threat to impose 10% tariffs on $200 billion of worth of Chinese goods as "blackmail" and warned it was prepared to take countermeasures if Washington goes through with them.

"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology", he said. "It is very unfortunate that instead of eliminating these unfair trading practices, China said that it intends to impose unjustified tariffs targeting US workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

China will fight back firmly with "qualitative" and "quantitative" measures if the United States publishes an additional list of tariffs on Chinese goods, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday (June 19), accusing the USA of initiating a trade war. China is now running a $376 billion surplus in trade with the USA, according to the White House. Trump says he is taking action because China has raised tariffs on USA exports and "has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology".

But, Trump said, "the United States will no longer be taken advantage of on trade by China and other countries in the world".

The tariffs announced by the White House on Friday hit more than 1,100 Chinese products with a rate of 25 percent.

Trump recently ordered tariffs on $50bn in Chinese goods in retaliation for what he claimed is theft of intellectual property. Another 114 product categories, including chemicals, medical equipment and energy industry products, will be "announced later", the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported. It would likely next seek to punish US companies doing business in China. "Let's be clear: It's the most predatory economic government that operates against the rest of the world today". China, claiming the United States had "launched a trade war," retaliated nearly immediately, outlining its own tariffs on U.S. goods worth $50 billion.

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These include major American exports to China such as soybeans, which brought in $14 billion in sales past year and are grown in states that supported Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

However, many economists and businesses in the U.S. say the tariffs are likely to hurt some of the sectors the administration is trying to protect, which depend on China for parts or assembly.

I have an excellent relationship with President Xi, and we will continue working together on many issues.

In an interview with CNN earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he didn't expect a full-blown trade war to break out and dismissed the notion that iPhones, which are assembled in China, would end up subject to tariffs. Mr. Trump also has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies.

Pompeo on Monday described USA actions as "economic diplomacy", which, when done right, strengthens national security and global alliances, he added. That has prompted Mr Trump to up the ante once more in what he regards as an unfair balance in trade between the two superpowers.

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