Trump slaps fresh tariffs on $200B of Chinese goods

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Trump started out in July and August with a more modest $50 billion round of tariffs targeting aircraft parts, computer hard drives, machinery and appliances, optical and surgical equipment as well as autos - goods Washington said had benefited from unfair trade practices.

But Trump warned that "if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports".

"For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies", he said. The key USA demand is that the Chinese government completely abandon its program of economic development and remain subservient to the United States in high-tech economic sectors.

In theory, the tariffs will make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, and so encourage consumers to buy American.

There could be some short-term opportunities for New Zealand from the tariffs but the risks were greater, he said.

His trade war with China escalated on Monday to cover almost half of all U.S. imports from that country, is by far the largest and broadest of several fights picked by Trump.

"The biggest risk to New Zealand lies in the undermining of worldwide rules-based agreements", he said.

"Attempts to help those hurt by globalisation via higher tariffs or other forms of protectionism, even if well-meaning, will raise prices and hurt all consumers, especially poor and middle-class families", said economist Satyam Panday of S&P Global Ratings.

United States ports have been feeling the pain since the start of the trade spat, the impact ranging from reduced shipments to restricted infrastructural development.

Retailers, manufacturers, and a wide swath of other USA businesses have warned that the new tariffs could hurt their profits, hiring, and growth.

The Trump administration has been revising the list of Chinese goods that will be hit by tariffs following a feedback period and more than a week of public hearings last month.

In other words, China must completely scrap the foundational structures of its economy so that it presents no threat to the economic dominance of USA capitalism, a dominance which the United States intends to maintain, if it considers necessary, by military means.

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Yes, it has. In fact, this latest round marks the third set of tariffs put into motion so far this year.

China retaliated against the first round of tariffs in kind, hitting American soybeans among other goods.

Apple shares fell 2.6 per cent, amid concerns it might be caught in the middle of an escalating trade war.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited the negotiators to Washington this week to resume talks.

This addition brings tariffs to about half of all goods imported from China to the U.S. Tariffs increase the cost of goods to U.S. buyers, and lead to higher prices for the same items from domestic producers and imports from countries that have avoided tariffs.

File photo showing US President Donald Trump with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G-7 summit meeting in Quebec, on June 8, 2018.

China could decide to pull out of planned trade talks in Washington next week, if it feels Trump isn't showing sufficient goodwill.

Apple had said the United States tariffs would affect prices for a "wide range" of Apple products, including its Watch, in a letter commenting on administration proposals earlier this month.

"If the U.S. launches any new tariff measures, China will have to take countermeasures to firmly ensure our legitimate rights and interests", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a regular press briefing.

The action would bring the total amount of Chinese products subject to duties to $250 billion, roughly half of the amount the U.S. imported from that country in 2017.

The president has suggested, tariffs on a couple hundred billion dollars. A USTR spokesman did not respond to queries about the tariffs. "Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple".