Trump announces tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi traded barbs on trade and China's territorial claims Thursday just as the two seek cooperation on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue

US President Donald Trump on Friday was due to unveil a final list of Chinese imports that would face punishing tariffs, fanning fears of a trade war as Beijing warned that it could swiftly strike back.

As soon as Friday, June 15, the administration plans to release a detailed list of 25 percent tariffs worth about $50 billion that will be placed on Chinese imports shortly after the announcement, the White House said in a statement last month.

Yang, also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said a healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations is in the fundamental interests of both peoples.

On Thursday, China reiterated its preference for dialogue to resolve differences, but said it was ready to respond if Trump moved forward with tariffs.

China specifically stated that it will impose a 25% tariff on imports of USA soybeans, a tax that could be devastating to growers of the number one US agricultural export, with sales to China past year totaling $14 billion, if the USA imposes tariffs.

The International Monetary Fund warned that Trump's new tariffs threaten to undermine the global trading system, prompt retaliation by other countries and damage the US economy.

Soybeans are one of a number of crops that could see steep and lasting effects if China retaliates against US tariffs. "In addition, they will serve as an initial step toward bringing balance to the trade relationship between the United States and China".

A report in the Wall Street Journal quoting sources close to the matter said Thursday evening the list had been approved and would affect about $50 billion worth of goods, the same figure that was first announced in March.

Trump is shaking up the world economic order with his zeal for tariffs and embrace of trade conflict as a way to secure benefits for the U.S. He threw a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy economies into turmoil by revoking support for the group's joint statement and berating the summit's host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng revealed that while there had been no bilateral talks between the two sides on trade disputes, the United States did follow WTO procedures to open a dialogue following China's petition that U.S. trade practices violated WTO rules. But he signalled that whatever the implications, "I have to do what I have to do" to address the trade imbalance.

Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful that they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump's watch and undermine the benefits of the tax cuts he signed into law previous year.

Administration officials have been targeting products where China provides less than a third of total U.S. imports to minimize the effect on consumers.

"If you end up with a tariff battle, you will end up with price inflation, and you could end up with consumer debt, ' Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser, said". "It's really not just tariffs, it's tariffs on a scale never before considered".

The Chinese have threatened to counterpunch if the president goes ahead with the plan.

ZTE last week agreed to pay a $1 billion fine to the US government to end a crippling supplier ban imposed after it broke an agreement to discipline executives who conspired to evade USA sanctions on Iran and North Korea. So far, Trump has yet to signal any interest in backing away.

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