White House tells China to fix trade practices

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"I might think the $60 billion is a weak response to our $200 (billion)", Kudlow said dismissively, while admitting that "there is a lot they can do to damage our companies in China".

China announced a list of US$60 billion worth of USA imports it plans to apply tariffs on should the Trump administration follow through with its latest trade threats.

Timing will depend on the actions of the United States, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a separate statement.

President Donald Trump and his administration have repeatedly called on China to stop unfair trading practices, stop technology and intellectual property theft, and for a decrease in the USA trade deficit with the China.

Mr Trump is aiming to reduce his country's $375.6 billion goods trade deficit - the gap between imports and exports - with China.

The yuan has also declined recently, threatening to take some of the bite out of tariffs by making imports cheaper, though the central bank took measures on Friday to stop it from further falling.

Chinese leaders have offered to narrow their politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American goods.

President Donald Trump asked US Trade Representative to consider increasing the proposed tariffs to 25pc from the planned 10pc, USTR Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday.

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With LNG demand expected to skyrocket over the next 12 to 18 months, there are still some two dozen firms seeking to build new LNG export terminals in the United States and tariffs may limit their ability to secure sufficient buyers to finance their proposed projects.

Washington had already imposed import tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods last month, with Beijing immediately retaliating.

"They better not underestimate the president", White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said in an interview on Fox Business Network. China's trading partners complain those might violate its market-opening pledges by subsidizing or shielding Chinese companies from competition.

The two countries have not had formal trade talks since early June.

The last time China was hit hard by growth fears, the shock waves rattled financial markets around the world, including in the U.S. In August 2015, the People's Bank of China stunned investors by lowering its target level for the yuan against the dollar, triggering a global selloff in stocks.

The market is not large by value compared with approximately $12 billion of US crude that came to China past year, but LNG imports could shoot up as Beijing forges ahead with its plan to switch millions of households to the fuel away from coal.

China immediately retaliated by imposing levies on the same amount of USA goods.

Washington and Beijing are locked in battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of American technological know-how.

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