U.S. proposes tariffs on $50B worth of Chinese tech imports

Chinese drivers transport shipping containers from the port city of Tianjin, just east of Beijing, on February 17, 2017. Tianjin is one of the busiest commercial ports in the world and plays a major part in China's import/export trade relations with the international community. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

April 4 (UPI) — The United States proposed another set of tariffs on a range of Chinese-made products worth about $50 billion in retaliation for discriminatory trade policies.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office compiled a list of 1,300 Chinese goods focusing primarily on electronics, aerospace and machinery products, which will be subject to new 25 percent import taxes.

“This level is appropriate both in light of the estimated harm to the U.S. economy, and to obtain elimination of China’s harmful acts, policies, and practices,” the USTR wrote in its report.

The list of items includes electronic touch screens, iron and steel plates, medical devices, aircraft parts, batteries and other Chinese products.

Trade analysts from various U.S. government agencies compiled the list by identifying “products that benefit from Chinese industrial policies, including Made in China 2025.”

China announced the Made in China 2025 initiative in 2015 as an effort to upgrade the country’s information technology, high-end machinery and robotics, aerospace, marine equipment and ships, advanced rail transport, new-energy vehicles, electric power, agricultural machinery, new materials, and bio-medical. In addition, China has a separate development strategy for artificial intelligence sectors.

Head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Myron Brilliant condemned the USTR’s tariff list.

“The administration is rightly focused on restoring equity and fairness in our trade relationship with China. However, imposing taxes on products used daily by American consumers and job creators is not the way to achieve those end,” Brilliant said.

President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese goods on March 22 in response to “tremendous intellectual property theft” by China, identified in a Section 301 trade investigation launched last summer.

China retaliated against those tariffs Monday by imposing tariffs on 128 U.S. products across seven categories, worth about $3 billion.


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