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China reacts to US trade tariffs, plans to target 128 goods
Mar '18
As US President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum on March 22 imposing retaliatory tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports, the latter quickly responded by proposing a list of 128 US products as potential retaliation targets. The US step aims at penalising China for practices that it claims involve stealing US firms' intellectual property.

This is the first of many trade actions, President Trump said while signing the memo, leading US media houses reported. The measures follow an investigation led by US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer into China's potentially unfair trade practices with the United States.

The US measures will mainly target certain products in the technology sector where China holds an advantage over the US. The USTR office will come out with a list of targeted products in the next fortnight, allowing a 30-day duration for public comment, reports said quoting senior US Government officials. The USTR report, yet to be released, reportedly covers 1,300 product lines.

The American products that had an import value of $3 billion in 2017, including wine, fresh fruit, dried fruit and nuts, steel pipes, modified ethanol, and ginseng, could see a 15 per cent duty, while a 25 per cent tariff could be imposed on US pork and recycled aluminium goods, according to a statement issued by the Chinese commerce ministry.

Beijing will take measures against the 128 American products in two stages if it cannot reach an agreement with Washington, the Chinese ministry said, adding that it could take legal action under World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations.

According to Trump's trade director Peter Navarro, the bottom line is that the United States is ‘strategically defending itself against economic aggression’.

A top US newspaper reported that the US administration is mulling over the possibility of a lawsuit against the policies of WTO that cover Chinese trade. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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