Trump administration adds to China trade pressure with higher tariff plan

Washington has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34billion

Trump is seeking to ratchet up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25% tariff on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports, his administration says.

Last month, the US proposed 10 percent tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese products - from parachutes to sardines - in response to China's retaliation.

"Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against USA workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses", Mr Lighthizer said in a statement.

Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth, and prominent US business groups, while tired of what they see as China's mercantilist trade practices, have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross downplayed the impact of the tariffs on the American economy.

Last month, Washington and Beijing imposed a first round of 25 percent tariffs on 34 billion dollars worth of each other's goods.

The United States has now proposed 25 per cent duties on a $200 billion catalogue of Chinese products, from air conditioning units and antiques to toilet paper and truffles.

Trump administration officials say the U.S.'s robust economy gives it the high ground in the trade battle against China, which is showing signs of an economic slowdown. Because China imports far less from the USA than the US imports from China, it can't keep up tit-for-tat tariffs.

And last week President Donald Trump announced a cease-fire in a potentially destructive dispute with the European Union over trade in cars, trucks and auto parts.

Trump's trade fights, including the battle with China, are starting to seep into the United States economy based on recent data.

China could retaliate by imposing more tariffs of its own, as well as increasing scrutiny and regulation of American businesses seeking to operate in China and encouraging boycotts of US goods.

While a trade dispute is obviously not comparable to a shooting war, the current U.S.

Mr Trump's threats of higher tariffs weighed on China's financial markets.

In response, the White House has established a comment period on the proposed tariffs, which includes public hearings where businesses can request exemptions.

Lighthizer claimed that Washington has joined forces with like-minded partners around the world "to address unfair trade practices such as forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft, and we remain ready to engage with China in negotiations that could resolve these and other problems detailed in our Section 301 report".

"It's very hard to see how this doesn't negatively impact all Americans in every walk of life", FDRA president and CEO Matt Priest previously told FN.

In July, the United States published a list of $200bn worth of additional products to be hit with tariffs of 10% - a figure the USA is now considering raising to 25%.

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