Story By: Joseph Emeka
The United States has said it plans to “impose” 25% tariffs on the $ 50 billion of Chinese imports “shortly” after mid-June.
Critics accused the administration of meddling in China after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the tariffs were in abeyance while the two sides continued trade talks.
But the White House said on Tuesday that a final list of imports scheduled for tariffs would be published before June 15.
China said it was “surprised and not surprised” by the measure.
In a statement, the Ministry of Commerce of China urged the US. UU To act in the spirit of the previous joint comments.
He said: “This is contrary to the consensus reached between the two parties in Washington not so long ago.”
The toughest line in the White House comes before another round of negotiations.
The US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, will travel to China this week.
The trip follows the talks in Washington in May. Those ended with a promise from the Chinese to buy more agricultural and energy products from the United States, but few firm commitments.
Where did this start?
Tariffs and restrictions on investment, as well as a case presented by the United States against China before the World Trade Organization, are the result of an investigation that the United States initiated last year on intellectual property practices in China.
The United States is pressing China to reduce import taxes and stop practices that allegedly encourage the transfer of intellectual property to Chinese companies, such as requirements for foreign companies to share ownership with local partners to access the market. Chinese.
However, the administration is uncertain between groups worried about a commercial war and the intransigent ones that call for more energetic action.
US officials UU They published the first draft of the articles destined for possible tariffs this spring, which provoked a period of comments and comments.
The initial list included around 1,300 items, including medical devices and industrial machinery.
The White House said on Tuesday: “The final list of covered imports will be announced on June 15, 2018, and tariffs will be forced on those imports shortly after that.”
The White House also said it plans to publicize the new measures to restrict Chinese investment “related to the acquisition of technology of industrial importance” before June 30. These would also be implemented “shortly after”.
On Tuesday, Chuck Schumer, who leads the Democrats in the Senate, praised the plans.
He said: “Although more details are obviously needed, this outline represents the kind of actions that we have needed for a long time, but the president must continue with it and not negotiate it.”
If the two parties fail to agree and the EE. UU They advance with the tariffs, the Chinese authorities have said that they plan to retaliate with own tariffs on the exports of the United States, like the soybean.
The White House said on Tuesday: “The talks with China will continue on these issues, and the United States hopes to solve long-standing structural problems and expand our exports by eliminating the severe import restrictions of China.”