08/02/2018, 14.51
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US tariffs of 25% for imports; restrictions on 44 Chinese companies

US trade representative confirms. Ban on exports from 44 Chinese companies includes nuclear, chemical, electronic, telecommunication tools, sensors and lasers. For Beijing, the US operation is "blackmail". Fears for the world economy.


Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, has confirmed the rumors that President Donald Trump would like to apply duties for 25% on 200 billion goods imported from China. Previously, on 10 July, he had expressed the threat of duties of up to 10%.

Also yesterday, the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security  added 44 Chinese companies among those who risk heavy restrictions on the purchase of US assets.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, at a routine press conference, accused the US of "blackmail" and declared that "if the United States takes further escalatory steps, China will inevitably take countermeasures, and we will resolutely protect our legitimate rights".

The United States, and in particular its president, has been accusing Beijing of "unfair" trade practices - such as state support for exports - and "intellectual property theft", forcing foreign companies to share their know-how with the Chinese partners, under penalty of exclusion from the market. The US also calls for China to reduce the US $ 200 billion trade deficit.

As a result since the end of March, Washington has imposed 25%  duties on steel and 10% on Chinese aluminum. On July 6th there was the imposition of an additional 34 billion dollars In taxes of Chinese imports. Beijing responded by taxing the same amount of imports from the US. Last month, Trump threatened to impose punitive tariffs on all Chinese products for over $ 500 billion.

In recent months there have been attempts to resolve tensions with dialogue, but they have run aground.

The 44 companies affected by the embargo on some products include several Chinese state-owned industries such as China Aerospace Science and Industry and China Electronic Technology Group. The first is the avant-garde company in the development and manufacture of missile systems.

US products subject to verification for export to these companies include nuclear, chemical, electronic, telecommunication tools, sensors and lasers.

The possible effects of the embargo on targeted companies are not yet clear. But their shares in the stock market have collapsed.

Last April, ZTE, one of China's largest telecommunications companies, banned exports for trading US technology with Iran and North Korea, violating the US-imposed sanctions regime. The ban forced the ZTE to stop its operations for more than two months.

Global investors fear that an increasingly tough trade war between Washington and Beijing could affect global economic growth.

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