Schumer praises Trump for China tariffs

ASSOCIATED PRESS           President Donald Trump spoke to reporters at the White House today in Washington

ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump spoke to reporters at the White House today in Washington

The world's two largest economies have been sparring over trade in recent months, sparking global fears of an all-out trade war.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday that China's response would be immediate and that Beijing would "take necessary measures to defend our legitimate rights and interests".

Trump first mentioned the tariffs in March; since then, the White House has sent mixed messages on the plan - and it has also sent envoys to China and received Chinese representatives as the two countries' trade and finance officials negotiated.

'The U.S. has ignored China's resolute opposition and solemn representation, and has insisted on adopting behaviors that violate WTO rules, ' China's commerce ministry said.

"Neither side will be brought to its knees - which is one reason to think the trade dispute could drag on", Capital Economics said.

Top among American products hit with duties by China are agricultural exports, with soybeans, sorghum, oranges, pork, poultry and beef included in the United States dollars 34 billion in goods targeted for higher border taxes starting next month.

Releasing details about what products would be affected by the tariffs, the USA trade representative's office said "the list of products issued today covers 1,102 separate U.S. tariff lines".

"Given the frequent flip-flopping of the Donald Trump administration, it is still too early to conclude that a trade war will start", it said. Released today, the list includes some 1,100 products. The U.S. tariffs are designed specifically to punish China for forcing American companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

Chinese retaliatory duties are expected soon.

USA officials have said Beijing has sought industrial dominance in emerging technologies through the theft of American know-how through forced technology transfers, hacking and other forms industrial espionage.

"This situation is no longer sustainable", Trump said. The reasoning was based on "China's theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices".

The tariffs would impact Chinese imports containing industrially significant technologies, including those related to China's "Made in China 2025" industrial policy.

The White House said the measures shouldn't hurt consumers, pointing out that items such as televisions that were included on the draft list had been taken off the list. The first package of revised USA tariffs is scheduled to kick in on July 6 and will apply to 818 Chinese product lines, with another 284 product lines to follow at a later date. USTR added an additional 284 product lines not on the original list.

Trump outraged Canadian, Mexican and European leaders last month by imposing the steel and aluminium tariffs to protect American producers from allegedly unfair competition.

Thomas Donohue is president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In April, U.S. President Donald Trump asked American trade officials to present him with a list of $50 billion worth of Chinese goods that Washington could tax under Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974. They view plans for state-led development of companies capable of competing globally in fields including electric cars, renewable energy and biotech as a route to prosperity and to restore China to its rightful role as a world leader.

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