U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is proposing a tariff rate increase on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent as the two countries continue conversations to determine whether trade talks can be resumed, senior Trump administration officials said on Wednesday.
President Trump has instructed U.S. trade representatives to increase the tariffs it levies on around $200 billion of Chinese exports, from 10% to 25%, citing China's failure to address USA concerns over "unfair trading practices" that include "forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft".
United States threats have escalated since, with the President saying he is ready to impose tariffs on all $500bn of Chinese imports.
It's unclear if the Chinese government is purposely pushing the value of its currency down or if that has been a market-based reaction to concerns about how US tariffs could hurt China's economy.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated at a regular news briefing in Beijing that the US' efforts at "blackmail" would fail.
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Chinese officials responded early Wednesday to threats of higher tariffs by saying they would retaliate again.
President Trump has proposed that USA trade officials raise tariffs on Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent over a perceived failure to address concerns regarding unfair trading practices, officials said.
In 2017, the United States had a $376 billion trade deficit with China, which it is keen to cut.
The Trump administration ramped up pressure for trade concessions from Beijing this week by proposing a higher 25 per cent tariff on $270 billion worth of Chinese imports.
The White House is considering increasing planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent, according to unnamed sources familiar with the issue, as quoted by Bloomberg.
That fell apart shortly after it was announced by USA officials and amid acrimony in the negotiating team sent to Beijing due to disagreements over the concessions that would be made to China.
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Trump campaigned on a promise to bring down America's massive trade deficits by renegotiating trade agreements and getting tough on countries like China that sell the USA far more than they buy from it.
The Commerce Ministry said the objective of the USA tariffs is to restrict China's "peaceful development"-not, as the US says, to retaliate for China's unfair trade practices with the goal of narrowing the wide trade gap between the two countries".
Trump's ongoing trade dispute with China has put him at odds with members of his own party and the United States business community, who have expressed outrage about the protectionist bent of his administration's trade policies, and warned of negative consequences for the USA economy.
The 25% tariffs would apply to the same products proposed in July.
Trump had said he would implement the $200 billion round as punishment for China's retaliation against the initial tariffs aimed at forcing change in China's joint venture, technology transfer and other trade-related policies. Furthermore, the massive, debt-financed tax cut enacted last December will only drive domestic consumption and make US assets more attractive to foreign buyers, all of which will widen the USA trade deficit much more than the limited tariffs imposed so far will shrink it.
Beijing's earlier round of tariffs appeared created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting soybeans, whiskey and other goods available from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers.
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If the Chinese government was hoping to see US President Donald Trump blink in the ongoing trade dispute, those hopes have been dashed.