European exporters shift trade to avoid higher United States tariffs

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More than 6,031 product lines are affected by the proposed tariffs, including seafood, fruits and vegetables, grains, tobacco, auto rearview mirrors and burglar alarms.

Investors fear an escalating trade war between the world's two biggest economies could hit global growth.

"For over a year, the Trump Administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", he said in a statement.

The consultation process for the new list will probably last about two months, including public hearings to take place from August 20 to 23, two senior administration officials said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the United States would impose tariffs of 10 per cent on the additional Chinese imports.

Also Monday, German automaker BMW AG said it would raise prices on US -built SUVs exported China due to higher tariffs.

But China has rebuffed USA complaints and denied any harm was done to U.S. companies, and instead retaliated "without any worldwide legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said.

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Mr Lighthizer said the products targeted by the tariffs are those that benefit from China's industrial policy and forced technology transfer.

Last week, Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing responded immediately with matching tariffs on the same amount of US exports to China.

To argue their case against tariffs, consumer companies' playbook has included pointing to higher costs for everyday goods, while laying the blame at the president's feet - the American Apparel and Footwear Association has dubbed the tariffs the "Trump tax".

Trump has been considering tariffs against China since his officials concluded in March that Beijing violates US intellectual-property rights, such as by forcing American firms to hand over technology.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has supported Mr Trump's tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, also criticised the administration's move. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behavior - behavior that puts the future of the US economy at risk".

Beijing, meanwhile, has unveiled measures to help Chinese companies absorb the US trade blows, pledging to funnel money collected from its own import levies to firms and workers tangled in the escalating trade war.

This dispute comes alongside the U.S. confrontation with other allies and major trading partners including Canada, Mexico and the European Union, for the steep tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum.

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