Trade War Fears Heat Up as Trump Eyes China

Trade War Fears Heat Up as Trump Eyes China

Trade War Fears Heat Up as Trump Eyes China

The push comes after Mr. Trump placed tariffs of 25 percent on USA steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports, and tweeted in support of trade wars, even amid warnings from governments including China, Mexico, Canada and the EU. A source told Reuters that the tariffs could come "in the very near future" and could include up to 100 products, also outside of the tech sector.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said earlier this month that the USA may lose up to 150,000 jobs if trade partners including Europe and others such as Japan retaliate against Trump's tariffs.

The White House declined to comment on the scale and timing of the measure.

The US text, released to the media by a Geneva-based trade official, comes as the 164-member WTO faces challenges unprecedented in its 23-year history.

In response, the U.S. President called to expand the package of tariffs.

The planned tariffs will act as punishment to China for it's stringent investment policies that pressure foreign companies to reveal intellectual property secrets if they are to set up business in the country.

Higher tariffs for those products would be hurtful to American families, said one trade lobbyist.

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Trump was elected on a protectionist agenda, and in the past year he has pulled the United States out of the 14-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and started talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.

China reported its 2017 US trade surplus as $276 billion, also about two thirds of its reported global surplus of $422.5 billion. "By fighting for fair but tough trade deals, we can bring jobs back to America's shores, increase wages, and support USA manufacturing", the administration said in January 2017.

A second person, who is an industry lobbyist in Washington who is familiar with the administration's thinking said the process was being led by Peter Navarro, an avowed protectionist, who has accused American companies of conniving with the Chinese state, and by Commerce Secretary Robert Lighthizer, who also favors tariffs as a tool.

Trump has spoken strongly about China's alleged theft of intellectual property, as well as the wider trade surplus it maintains with the US.

The United States is expected to invoke a national security exception to WTO rules in imposing import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum announced by Trump last week.

"He's serious about calling their hand on this, and my understanding is they are looking at a broad array of options to do that", Brady said.

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