United States targets Chinese tech with a 25 percent tariff


China's Commerce Ministry said on Friday that it would "immediately introduce taxation measures of the same scale and the same strength" after the United States revised its initial list of tariffs on Chinese imports, adding several technology products.

Mr Trump said the tariffs were "essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs".

China has also compiled a list of $50 billion in USA products that would face retaliatory tariffs, including agricultural products that could potentially harm Trump's large voter base in rural areas.

"We will immediately launch tax measures of equal scale and equal strength", the commerce ministry said in a statement on its website which also called on other countries to "take collective action" against this "outdated and backwards behaviour". "All the economic and trade achievements previously negotiated by the two parties will become invalid".

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.

China now imports about 363,000 barrels of U.S. crude daily, on par with Canada as the biggest U.S. crude importer, according to U.S. Energy Department figures.

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The benchmark price of crude has surged from around $50 a barrel last summer to within a breath of $80 a barrel a few weeks ago. The OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed back in November 2016 to curb supply in order to boost then-low oil prices.

Shares of Boeing Co, the single largest US exporter to China, closed down 1.3 percent after paring earlier losses.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the punitive duties will apply on 818 Chinese products valued at US$34 billion starting Jul 6.

In a statement, he warned of "additional tariffs" should China hit back with tit-for-tat duties on American goods and services exports.

It is hard to quantify the precise cost of Chinese sanctions, but Missouri corn and soybean farmer Blake Hurst said he already is seeing an impact on prices.

China responded to USA tariffs announced Friday morning with a promise to impose reciprocal levies on a range of American products, including agricultural products, cars and seafood.

"We feel these tariffs are very damaging to our agricultural economy". "China has, for example, always been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology".

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With retaliatory tariffs, soybean exports could fall by 65 percent, the American Soybean Association said, pointing to a Purdue University study.

Beijing and Washington have held three rounds of high-level talks since early May that have yet to yield a compromise, with Mr Trump unmoved by a Chinese offer to buy an additional US$70 billion worth of United States farm and energy products and other goods, people familiar with the matter have said.

The news raised alarms around the ME lobster industry, as China's an emerging market for USA lobster, which has gained popularity with the growing middle class. ME lobster was worth more than $430 million (U.S.) at the docks a year ago, and the industry is a critical piece of the state's economy, history and heritage. If Trump does that, and China again retaliates in kind, that could mean that nearly all US goods exported to China would face new tariffs in the near future.

The tariffs will still target autos, including those imported by General Motors Co and Volvo, owned by China's Geely Automobile Holdings, and electric cars.

Trump's decision to impose fresh tariffs on China follows his recent imposition of steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union on national security grounds.

While the tariffs amount to just a small portion of the economy, their impact on consumer confidence is considerable, especially as prices on goods like washing machines rise.

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"There remains a substantial risk of escalation and a more prolonged dispute that lasts through the summer and into the fall", analysts with Eurasia Group, a political risk adviser, said in a research note.