US Tariffs Now Include Wireless Routers, China Responds


President Donald Trump escalated his trade war with China on Monday, imposing 10 per cent tariffs on about US$200 billion (S$275 billion) worth of Chinese imports.

US President Donald Trump has announced he will impose 10 per cent tariffs on $US200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Still, American consumers could start feeling the cost of the tariffs for everyday goods, as the latest move brings all Chinese imports subject to a new tariff to $250 billion, roughly half of China's shipments to the U.S. previous year.

Beijing has previously released a list of $60 billion in American-made goods subject to its retaliatory tariffs.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the U.S. will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower United States growth and competitiveness and higher prices for USA consumers", Apple said in a letter commenting on the proposal.

The U.S. government withdrew some items from its preliminary list of $200 billion in Chinese imports to be taxed, including child-safety products such as bicycle helmets.

The Trump administration is giving American businesses a chance to adjust and look for alternative supply chains by delaying an increase of the tariff to 25% on January 1 for the $200bn batch of Chinese goods, according to two senior administration officials who briefed reporters on Monday.

In these circumstances, the President has directed the U.S. Trade Representative to increase the level of trade covered by the additional duties in order to obtain elimination of China's unfair policies.

The tariffs will hit a wide range of industrial and consumer goods.

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"Contrary to views in Washington, China can - and will - dig its heels in and we are not optimistic about the prospect for a resolution in the short term", said Zarit of the American Chamber of Commerce.

Ahead of Trump's tariff announcement late Monday, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the United States was still willing to continue its dialogue with China.

The two side already traded tariff salvos on $50 billion in goods from each country in the summer.

The lack of unity within the United States administration on trade isn't new - Chinese and American officials have held a series of talks over the dispute, and reached at least one agreement which was subsequently abandoned by the president. "These new retaliatory tariffs run afoul of the carefully tailored provisions of the Trade Act of 1974, which require any action to be within the scope of the Section 301 investigation", Shapiro said in a statement.

Appearing to counter Trump's previous claim that tariffs imposed by his administration would bring home USA businesses and manufacturing, AmCham chairman William Zarit said only 6 per cent of the group's member companies have said the trade war will cause them to consider shifting their operations back to the US. It was unclear if the tariffs announced on Tuesday were lower to match the USA plan. The move, which had been expected, imposes 10 percent tariffs on the imports. "There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!", Trump continued.

Adam Posen, a leading trade expert and President of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said at a forum Monday that the tariff strategy is destined to fail, as it will not resolve trade disputes but will stifle US competitiveness and undermine consumption power of the USA working class.

The administration is targeting a bewildering variety of products - from sockeye salmon to baseball gloves to bamboo mats - forcing US companies to scramble for suppliers outside China, absorb the import taxes or pass along the cost to their customers. The US president has launched numerous trade conflicts with a number of partners, including US ally the European Union, stating that trade deficits hurt the American economy.

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