China Tariffs on US Crude Not Game-Changing Event

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Amid a steep correction in crude prices, China said on Wednesday that it would impose a 25-percent tariff on U.S. imports worth US$16 billion, including crude oil, diesel, cars, coal, and steel products, in retaliation to the U.S. list of US$16 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be taxed by U.S. authorities from August 23. The U.S. Trade Representative's Office is reviewing tariffs on a further US$200 billion in Chinese imports and those duties could start once a comment period ends on September 6.

So far, China has now either imposed or proposed tariffs on $110 billion of USA goods, representing the vast majority of its annual imports of American products.

China's July exports rose 12.2 percent from a year earlier, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase according to the latest Reuters poll, and up from a 11.2 percent gain in June.

The weak figures come as Beijing has been trying to encourage domestic consumption, with measures such as lowering tariffs for consumer goods, as part of its strategy to deal with the mounting pressure from the trade war, which is set to crimp the country's exports, traditionally one of the main drivers of growth. US President Donald Trump accused Beijing of "being vicious" on trade, stressing that Chinese measures were targeting US farmers on objective.

Still, disagreements between the two major economic powers run deeper than just the trade balance and tensions remain over market access, intellectual property, technology transfer and investment.

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August 3: China announces that the country will impose tariffs of various rates on another $60 billion worth of United States goods if Trump moves forward with his latest threat. Beijing responded with its own 25 percent tariff on a list of goods that includes live lobster. In response, China has threatened up to 25 per cent tariffs on US$60 billion in American imports.

Analysts from Oxford Economics have predicted that China's GDP growth may slow to 6.4 per cent this year, from 6.9 per cent in 2017, as the effects of the trade war weigh.

China, however, would run out of US imports to levy, as it bought only $130 billion worth of American goods a year ago.

The latest $16 billion list from the United States will hit semiconductors from China, even though numerous basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.

The United States published its final list of goods subject to the new tariffs on Tuesday. A third and further damaging round is proposed on an eye-watering $200 billion worth of trade, around $1 billion of which is said to be bicycle related goods.

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