Trump's latest US$200 billion China tariffs target consumers

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"As a result of China's retaliation and failure to change its practices, the president has ordered USTR to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

The administration released a wide-ranging list of Chinese goods it proposes be hit with tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, coal, chemicals and tires, dog and cat food, and consumer electronics including television components. "This new round of proposed tariffs takes the fight onto yet another level from which it is going to be hard for either side to make a graceful retreat", said Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monteary Fund's China division.

This most recent maneuver follows a threat President Trump made last month, and comes days after the USA and China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $30 billion in goods.

US officials say they remain willing to bargain.

Mr Trump has been considering tariffs against China since his officials concluded in March that Beijing violates USA intellectual-property rights, such as by forcing American firms to hand over technology. USA officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified. "Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war", said Hun Quach, the head of worldwide trade policy for the group.

Trump authorized an initial $50 billion in tariffs - including the $34 billion that took effect Friday - to match those losses.

"For many years, China has pursued abusive trading practices with regard to intellectual property and innovation", Mr. Lighthizer said in a statement on Tuesday.

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"Trump's escalation of trade hostilities makes it increasingly hard to envision an exit path from an all-out trade war".

Lighthizer's office plans four days of public hearings on the trade actions starting August 20.

"They were the ones who started everything by hurting us", the official said.

Tariffs are a "dangerous and very blunt instrument", Harborn said.

Chinese officials also encouraged businesses to reduce their reliance on USA goods, urging them to shift orders for products such as soybeans and automobiles to suppliers in China or countries other than the United States. "Reliance on more and more taxes as a means to drive change is a high-risk strategy with US importers and exporters at the heart".

China accused the U.S. of starting "the largest trade war in economic history", after the first round of tariffs took effect last week.

The Washington Post's Danielle Paquette reported from Beijing.

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