First round of USA tariffs on Chinese goods to hit $50B - USTR

The world's two biggest economies are caught up in a trade dispute over Washington's allegations that China uses predatory tactics, including outright cybertheft, in a drive to supplant US technological supremacy. An earlier round of tariffs that went into effect on July 6 applied to $34 billion in imports.

The Trump administration says it will go ahead with imposing 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese imports.

The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce".

China's announcement is a direct response to new duties on Chinese goods imported into the United States, announced Tuesday in Washington. President Donald Trump has suggested he may tax effectively all imports of Chinese goods, which reached more than $500 billion a year ago.

A weaker yuan, which marked its worst 4-month fall on record between April and July, may have taken the sting out of 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion exports to the United States.

Although the move was expected, it cements the view that there appears to be no effort underway to defuse the dispute between the world's two largest economies that have continued to exchange threats.

USA president Donald Trump has threatened to target all $500bn of Chinese imports.

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The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more "active" fiscal policy.

"Looking ahead, we expect export growth to cool in the coming months, though this will primarily reflect softer global growth rather than USA tariffs, the direct impact of which will continue to be mostly offset by the renminbi's (yuan's) recent depreciation", Capital Economics' Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note.

Imports grew 27.3 percent in July, customs said, beating analysts' forecast of 16.2 percent growth, and compared with a 14.1 percent rise in June.

His administration confirmed that its trade assault would soon cover more than $50 billion of products from China.

Mr Trump has said he would be willing to hit all of China's imports with duties. Beijing is expected to hit $16 billion worth of United States goods with equal tariffs in response to Tuesday's move. It represents the latest salvo in the ever-expanding trade war between the U.S. and China.

China fired back with its own warning and said it would impose duties on $60 billion of United States goods.

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