Vastavam web: U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports and will target the technology and telecommunications sectors, two people who had discussed the issue with the Trump administration said on Tuesday.A third source who had direct knowledge of the administration’s thinking said the tariffs, associated with a “Section 301” intellectual property investigation, under the 1974 U.S. Trade Act begun in August last year, could come “in the very near future.”
Trump is targeting Chinese high technology companies to punish China for its investment policies that effectively force U.S. companies to give up their technology secrets in exchange for being allowed to operate in the country, as well as for other IP practices Washington considers unfair.But lobbyists in Washington expressed concern that Trump’s ambitious tariff plan would also include other labour-intensive consumer goods sectors such as apparel, footwear and toys.
Higher tariffs on these products would “hurt American families,” said Hun Quach, a trade lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.China runs a $375 billion trade surplus with the United States and when President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser visited Washington recently, the administration pressed him to come up with a way of reducing that number.Trump came to office on a promise to shield American workers from imports and his first action as president was to pull the United States out of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.While the tariffs on steel and aluminium, announced last week by Trump, are viewed as relatively insignificant in terms of imports and exports, moves to target China directly risk a direct and harsh response from Beijing.
“If this is serious, the Chinese will retaliate. The key question is, does the U.S. retaliate against that retaliation,” said Derek Scissors, a China trade expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a pro-business think tank.