4 things to watch as Trump's tariffs hit China

Ag groups push for #TradeNotTariffs

US President Donald Trump is due to unveil later on Friday a final list of roughly $50 billion in Chinese imports that would face punishing tariffs, though his administration has not yet publicly said when the measures will be imposed.

News of the tariffs was initially reported by Bloomberg.

A report in the Wall Street Journal quoting sources close to the matter said Thursday evening the list had been approved and would affect about $50 billion worth of goods, the same figure that was first announced in March.

Washington has also completed a second list of possible tariffs on another $100 billion in Chinese goods, in the expectation that China will respond to the initial USA tariff list in kind, sources told Reuters.

Trump has already slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, all of which have threatened to retaliate in kind.

At the daily briefing here, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, "If the USA side adopts unilateralism and protectionism and damages China's interests, we will respond in the first instance and take necessary measures to firmly safeguard our legitimate rights and interests".

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 USA farm and energy products and other goods, people familiar with the matter have said.

"I stressed how important it is for President Trump to rectify that situation so that trade becomes more balanced, more reciprocal and more fair, with the opportunity to have American workers be treated fairly", Pompeo said Thursday during a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The move is likely to attract retaliatory action by China. The US trade deficit with China was $336 billion in 2017.

Trump has pledged to enforce fair and reciprocal trading relations with China, with the US bilateral trade in goods deficit having reached $375 billion past year, and amid long-running complaints of what foreign companies see as forced technology transfers and market restrictions.

Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful that they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump's watch and undermine the benefits of the tax cuts he signed into law past year.

"That is why I will continue to call for a meaningful strategy to address our deep trade deficit with China that has led to outsourcing of well-paying American jobs", she said.

The trade spat could boost prices for raw materials and food, leading to higher rates of inflation and a potential recession, according to Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser.

"Moving forward with tariffs on goods imported from China will harm USA consumers and businesses, and will fail to change China's discriminatory and damaging trade practices", Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), said in a statement last month. We strongly oppose a trade war with China because no one ever wins in these tit-for-tat disputes.

"The clouds on the horizon that we have signaled about six months ago are getting darker by the day- and, I was going to say, by the weekend", said Christine Lagarde, the IMF Managing Director.

Trump also was bullish at and after the recent G7 meetings when he, alongside National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, refused to budge on their financial and trade policies.

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