Chinese media warns against 'wantonly' rising tariffs in U.S. trade war

The White House reportedly had a private meeting with tech industry representatives last week.                  Daniel Terdiman  CNET

The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled a list of roughly $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be hit with 25% tariffs.

The move had been widely expected but with China lining up retaliatory measures it reinforced the worry that the two sides are heading for an all-out trade war that could hammer the global economy. China's levies will come into force at 12:01 on August 23, according to a statement on the finance ministry's web site.

A draft list of products China released in June contained 114 tariffs lines, but the final list released Wednesday includes 333 categories, although the value of $16 billion remains the same.

China has already retaliated against the United States with its own tariffs and proposed others if Washington goes ahead with carrying out all its threats.

American imports far more from China than the other way around, meaning Beijing may at some point need to look for other means of retaliation.

With tariffs going into effect on a total of $50 billion in Chinese goods - $34 billion that started July 6 and another $16 billion beginning August 23 - the USA will be taxing about 10% of the products that come into the country from China.

"We have made the case to the Administration, in the strongest possible terms, that tariffs imposed on semiconductors imported from China will hurt America's chipmakers, not China's, and will do nothing to stop China's problematic and discriminatory trade practices", he said.

Washington has also lined up an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports and last week Trump said he could raise tariffs on those products to 25 percent instead of the previously touted 10 percent.

USTR said there were 279 new goods to be targeted in the latest round of tariffs.

U.S. officials said there were 279 new goods to be targeted in the latest round of tariffs, including motorcycles, tractors, railroad parts, electronic circuits, motors and farm equipment.

U.S. industries and farmers have been caught in the crossfire, and the Trump administration announced $12 billion in aid to help farmers hurt by Chinese duties on crops such as soybeans.

In May, Chinese importers trying to beat Beijing's looming counter-tariffs led to a surge in United States exports of crude oil and soybeans, temporarily driving down the trade deficit and helping boost GDP growth in the April-June period to 4.1%.

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