Washington: President Donald Trump on Thursday hit China with tariffs on up to USD60 billion of imports to retaliate against the "theft" of American intellectual property, ratcheting up trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.
The move was swiftly denounced by Beijing, which vowed to "fight to the end" if the United States persisted in the confrontation.
The latest trade action sent stocks diving amid rising fears the United States could provoke a trade war. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 700 points.
Saying it would be the "first of many" trade actions, Trump signed the order that also could result in restrictions on Chinese investment in the US.
"We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on," Trump said as he signed the new trade order, which could include duties as high as 25 percent.
The action did not immediately impose any new tariffs, but US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer within two weeks is due to publish a list of the products that could be hit with tariffs, which will be followed by a period of public comment.
As Trump has taken progressive steps toward confrontation, Beijing has repeatedly warned that trade wars benefit no one and it will not stand idly by as Washington imposed punitive new measures.
In a strongly-worded statement, China's Embassy in Washington warned that a confrontation will end up hurting the United States.
"If a trade war were initiated by the US, China would fight to the end to defend its own legitimate interests with all necessary measures."
The statement said China had shown "sincerity in making reasonable suggestions" and had also made "great efforts" to deal with the current trade imbalance with the United States
Vice President Mike Pence hailed the new measures, saying they made it clear "the era of economic surrender is over."
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday suggested the new measures on intellectual property were in fact a way of bringing Beijing to the table, telling CNBC they were "the prelude to a set of negotiations."
At the same time Washington also said Thursday it would at least temporarily exempt the European Union and six other countries from steep steel and aluminum tariffs announced this month, easing the immediate threat of a trade dispute with close US allies.
Years of 'failed' dialogue
Senior White House economic advisor Everett Eissenstat said the new import duties would target industrial sectors where "China has sought to acquire an advantage through the unfair acquisition or forced technology transfer from US companies."
The order also directs the US Treasury to develop new proposals to increase safeguards on Chinese investments in the US that could compromise national security.
In addition, USTR will go after China in the World Trade Organization -- a body Trump and his officials have criticized as ineffective -- charging Beijing with preventing US companies from freely licensing their own technology in China.
White House officials said the actions came after years of efforts to failed to convince China to change its behavior.
"Those dialogues failed under the Bush and Obama administrations," White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told reporters.
Navarro said Trump also tried to encourage Beijing to open its markets and end unfair practices, inviting President Xi Jinping to the United States and traveling to Asia himself in November.
You just 'have to protect yourself'
The United States had a record USD337.2 billion trade deficit with China last year.
American industry, and US agriculture in particular, as well as members of the President's own Republican party have voiced strident opposition to Trump's recent trade moves.
But Navarro told reporters that China benefitted far more from trade relations with the United States, meaning retaliation could be difficult for Beijing, and that lawmakers would broadly support the new measures.
Influential Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Trump ally, said he was "very pleased" with the new measures, but other Republicans called on Trump to be judicious in designing the tariffs, warning of consequences for American consumers.
In testimony before a Senate committee prior to the announcement, Lighthizer said the areas targeted by the new tariffs should be precisely those sectors where Beijing's economic plan outlines a vision of world dominance.
Those included aerospace and aeronautics equipment, maritime and rail transport equipment, new energy vehicles, agricultural equipment and advanced medical products.
"In some areas, you just have to protect yourself from them so you won't be in a position where US industry is not wiped out by them," Lighthizer said. (AFP)
China on Monday imposed tariffs on 128 US imports worth USD3 billion, including fruits and pork.
Kementerian Perdagangan Tiongkok mengungkapkan pendekatan yang dilakukan Amerika Serikat (AS) pada perdagangan menetapkan preseden…
Asian markets plunged Friday following a sell-off in New York as Donald Trump sparked fresh trade war with China.
China warned the United States on Friday that it was not afraid of a trade war.
Presiden Amerika Serikat (AS) Donald Trump menandatangani surat eksekutif yang akan memberlakukan tarif pembalasan hingga USD60 mi…
Apakah Anda kerap merasa mudah lelah? Jika ya, Anda perlu tahu bahwa penyebabnya beragam. Apa saja?
Jika dehidrasi tak segera ditangani, bisa menjadi parah dan membahayakan tubuh.
The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) increased by 1.28 percent or 74.39 points to 5,881.76 on Tuesday, July 10, 2018.
The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) increased by 1.08 percent or 62.42 points to 5,876.79 before break on Tuesday.
China will provide Arab states with $20 billion in loans for economic development, President Xi Jinping told top Arab officials Tu…
The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) increased by 1.98 percent or 112.46 points to 5,807.38 on Monday, July 9, 2018.
The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) increased by 1.14 percent or 64.61 points to 5,759.52 before break on Monday.
Asian markets rallied on Monday, extending their gains at the end of last week, following another strong US jobs report that reinf…
Shares of Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi fell almost 6 percent in its trading debut in Hong Kong Monday, a long-awaited IPO overs…
A burst of US exports of soybeans, commercial aircraft and other goods drove the American trade gap to its lowest level in 18 mont…
The Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs has proposed a number of measures to reduce the growing trade deficit.
The Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force (SKK Migas) has reported the national oil and gas lifting only reached 1.92…