Trump hits China with $50B tariffs, investment restrictions

Casey Dawson
May 30, 2018

The White House said yesterday that it also would restrict investment and exports by Chinese companies and individuals if they related to "industrially significant technology" in America.

Details of the investment and export controls will be announced by June 30 and the final tariff list will be published by June 15.

China and the United States had agreed earlier this month to put threats of tens of billions of dollars in tariffs on ice after Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic advisor to President Xi Jinping, led a delegation to Washington.

China has pledged to retaliate against any tariffs imposed by the US.

A US advance team was scheduled to arrive in Beijing Wednesday afternoon, the people said, ahead of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's planned arrival on Saturday.

Trump has long bemoaned the massive trade deficit with China.

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And doubts remain about whether China will address allegations the Chinese engage in cybertheft of trade secrets, force USA companies to transfer some of their technology in exchange for market access or back away from its China 2025 plan to dominate emerging technologies.

Other advisers have pushed for tougher action, demanding that China make substantial reforms to its economy to end the subsidies it provides to developing industries and to allow American companies equal access in the Chinese market. USA officials have long accused China of stealing American intellectual property. The order followed a report from the U.S. Trade Representative's office regarding Chinese trade practices and stealing of U.S. intellectual property. However, the big risk is that Beijing won't have any confidence in Ross to make a deal that Trump will accept. Ross will have less than two weeks to solve the knotty issue of trade before the tariffs get officially imposed, so there's not much room for error.

Critics had accused the administration of going soft on China after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said tariffs were on hold while the two sides continue trade talks.

The tariffs and investment restrictions, as well as a case brought by the U.S. against China before the World Trade Organisation, are the outcome of an investigation launched a year ago into intellectual property practices in China. The White House confirmed yesterday that it meant to impose...

The Commerce Department informed Congress on Friday of a plan to ease penalties on ZTE (ZTCOF), the Chinese phone and telecom equipment maker that was crippled by an export ban issued in April as punishment for what the United States said were violations of its sanctions against North Korea and Iran.

The deal to reduce China's trade surplus with the USA was separate from the US probe into China's alleged theft of intellectual property.

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