The Trump administration is moving forward with its plans to implement tariffs on Chinese goods coming into America. On Friday, it published a list of products totaling $34bn that will be subjected to a 25 per cent charge to importers, and another $16bn worth of goods that could be added to the list.
The US Trade Representative posted the full list [PDF], which includes a number of products used for computing and telecoms products, including semiconductor manufacturing and printing tools, and individually shielded optical wireless cables.
In addition to the $34bn in products the USTR had already listed, the trade bigwigs put out a second list [PDF] covering another $16bn worth of additional imports from China it is considering adding to the tariff list.
That list includes more semiconductor and telecoms devices, including integrated circuits for use in processors, memory, and amplifiers. It would also expand the list of telco equipment to include low-voltage "Insulated electric conductors of a kind used for telecommunications".
That list will be subjected to a public comment and hearing period before the USTR decides to move forward with the tariffs.
As it had before, the Trump administration said the tariffs are a response to what it sees as unfair trade policies and intellectual property theft by the Chinese government on behalf of its own companies.
Here's the list of Chinese kit facing extra US import tariffs: Hard disk drives, optic fiber, PCB making equipment, etcREAD MORE
"China’s government is aggressively working to undermine America’s high-tech industries and our economic leadership through unfair trade practices and industrial policies like 'Made in China 2025'," said US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer.
"Technology and innovation are America’s greatest economic assets and President Trump rightfully recognizes that if we want our country to have a prosperous future, we must take a stand now to uphold fair trade and protect American competitiveness."
In response the Chinese Commerce Ministry said that it would "fight back vigorously" against the US plans. It insisted that it doesn't want a trade war but also added that it would be responding in kind.
"The United States has kept changing its mind and now launched a trade war," the ministry said in a statement to CNN. "We will immediately launch tariff measures that will match the scale and intensity of those launched by the United States."
While the USTR has claimed the tariffs would not affect consumer goods, the advocacy group Information Technology Industry Council claims the higher tariffs could drive up the price end users will pay for things like printers, phones, and TV sets.
"By imposing tariffs on consumer goods and key components of such goods, the president would needlessly take money out of Americans’ pockets – harming the very people he hopes to help, not punishing China," said ITIC president and CEO Dean Garfield.
"We urge President Trump to reassess the approach, engage in real negotiations with China, and work with allies to change Chinese policies." ®