USA fires next shot in China trade war

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Some companies had successfully lobbied to get their products excluded from an earlier list of U.S. tariffs.

On Tuesday, the Office of the US Trade Representative proposed 10 percent tariffs on a list of 6,031 Chinese product lines. "Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war".

"Tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products amounts to another multibillion-dollar tax on American businesses and families", said Scott Lincicome, a trade lawyer and senior policy analyst for the group Republicans Fighting Tariffs.

Administration officials said a two-month process would allow the public to comment on the proposed tariffs before the list is finalised.

"Although I have supported the administration's targeted efforts to combat China's technology transfer regime, tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", said Sen.

This builds on 25 per cent tariffs on $US34 billion worth of Chinese imports into the US that took effect at midnight on Friday, and carries out US President Donald Trump's threat to respond to any Chinese retaliation to those taxes. Last Friday, the USA imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products, and Beijing responded by hitting the same amount of US imports. USA officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified.

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The administration says its tariffs are created to punish China for what it calls unfair trade practices, theft of intellectual property, and "forced technology transfers".

Robert Holleyman, the USA official in charge of trade with Asia during former president Barack Obama's second term, described the tariffs as "tax hikes on US imports". But Trump hasn't backed down, arguing that China's unfair trading practices are hurting American workers. "Reliance on more and more taxes as a means to drive change is a high-risk strategy with USA importers and exporters at the heart".

Also Monday, German automaker BMW AG said it would raise prices on US -built SUVs exported China due to higher tariffs.

The fight with China comes as Mr. Trump is also locked in a trade war with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and other US allies.

Administration officials said they hoped the measures would convince the Chinese government to increase market access for USA companies and address allegations of the theft of intellectual property.

Trade war with the world: United States tariffs on aluminum and steel from Canada, the European Union and other countries have also triggered retaliatory tariffs on USA goods.