China vows fast response to United States tariffs


"Our hope is that it doesn't lead to a rash reaction from China", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in an interview with the Fox Business Network after the tariffs were announced.

Beijing responded to the move by saying that it intends to impose similar tariffs on U.S. imports, raising the specter of a full-blown trade war between the two economic giants.

The tariffs will target technology industries where China hopes to become a world leader, after an investigation uncovered rampant intellectual property theft by Chinese companies against USA firms.

"It generally focuses on products from industrial sectors that contribute to or benefit from the "Made in China 2025" industrial policy, which include industries such as aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials, and automobiles", the statement read.

"You know we have the great brain power in Silicon Valley, and China and others steal those secrets".

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The China trade offensive is only one side of Trump's multi-front battle with all major USA economic partners.

Trump reportedly met Thursday with several Cabinet members and trade advisers and was expected to impose tariffs on at least $35 billion to $40 billion of Chinese imports.

"If these actions continue, our businesses will lose customers, workers will lose jobs, and American consumers will lose family income through higher taxes and higher prices", Chamber President Thomas Donahue said.

Since taking office, Trump has publicly touted his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a reflection of his apparent belief that foreign policy is in large part dependent on the personal relationships between heads of state.

In a statement Friday, Trump pledged additional tariffs if China follows through on the threat to fight back. A recent study by Ohio State University found that a farmer in Ohio could lose more than half of his annual net income if China imposes a 25 percent tariff on US soybeans and corn.

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The president has been under pressure from US lawmakers over his decision to soften a penalty on Chinese telecom-equipment maker ZTE Corp.

The Dow initially fell more than 200 points before gaining in afternoon trading to close down 84 points at 25,090. Soybeans are the state's biggest export, and China is the state's biggest worldwide soybean market.

The U.S. and China have been holding ongoing negotiations over the trade dispute.

This was after the United States imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminium from Canada and the European Union.

After a review period, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) removed more than 500 items, including televisions and pharmaceuticals. "These tariffs won't reduce or eliminate China's abusive trade practices, but they will strain the budgets of working families by raising consumer prices". "My gosh, if the president gets upset with us we might not be in the majority". The Communist Party-run government countered with a list of goods slated for tariffs, including cars and farm products, that could cause political damage for Republicans. After receiving public comment, the US removed 515 product lines from the list, including TVs and some pharmaceuticals, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

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The Trump administration levied the tariffs to halt what it calls the "forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property" to China.