(U.S. Edition) Remember when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would be set aside?
A foreign ministry spokeswoman complained the US decision to renew a threat to raise duties on a $50 billion list of Chinese goods conflicts with an agreement in mid-May aimed at settling that dispute.
Import tariffs on 79 auto parts will also be reduced to 6% from the current levels of 8-25%.
Trump raised the ante, threatening tariffs on another $100 billion of Chinese goods, and China promised it would retaliate (presumably in kind).
The White House also stated that it plans to announce new procedures to restrict Chinese investment "related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology" by June 30. "Our allies and partners are going to be pressured by China to take their side".
However, American companies have "major concerns" about unfair conditions, and the recent moves haven't done enough to alleviate those concerns, said the American chamber's Ross.
Analysts in the United States suggested the newly confrontational stance also might be aimed at appeasing congressional critics of a deal the Trump administration made Friday that allowed Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp.to stay in business.
The commerce ministry said earlier Wednesday that Beijing "has the confidence, capability and experience to defend the interests of Chinese people and the core interests of the country" - no matter what measures the USA plans to take.
After briefing reporters on the administration's decision to slap tariffs on imported steel from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, Ross arrived in Beijing for negotiations aimed at resolving a dispute over China's aggressive attempts to challenge US technological supremacy.
The latest move to announce the tariffs comes ahead of US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's visit to China next month over the same. The announcement threw the viability of the shipment into question, and the RB Eden reversed course in the Indian Ocean and instead headed to Spain.
To let ZTE off the hook now is to undercut the power of sanctions and put the United States in a weaker position when it presses for trade concessions and support in isolating rogue regimes. Some of the cargoes that were caught in this situation reportedly had to resell their cargoes at discounts of as much as 40 percent, as their initial plans were derailed. These actions create a cloud of uncertainty for American consumers and companies that cause price fluctuations and make it hard to engage in trade, as exemplified by the RB Eden.