Trump announces new tariffs on Chinese technology

Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a signing ceremony during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing China

Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a signing ceremony during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing China

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced that tariffs on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods would go forward despite a broad trade agreement.

The China Daily newspaper said the repeated USA claim that China had forced foreign firms to transfer their technologies to Chinese businesses was without evidence and was being used as an excuse to facilitate its trade protectionism.

The list of imports that will be covered will be announced by June 15, the White House said, and the tariffs will be imposed "shortly thereafter".

The latest signal from the White House sounds like the more hawkish wing of Trump's trade team is trying to amplify its hard line, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said this month that any talk of a trade war was suspended for now.

CGTN's Mike Walter spoke with Ronce Almond about the latest updates in the US-China trade dispute.

But that was before the USA said it will unveil new potential investment restrictions in the hi-technology sector by the end of June and start imposing tariffs as early as mid-June.

The spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, declined to say whether Tuesday's announcement might disrupt plans for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to visit Beijing for talks starting Saturday. Both sides said they had agreed not to impose new tariffs on one another as talks continued, and that China would increase purchases of American goods and services to reduce the $375 billion trade imbalance. The list of restrictions and controls will be announced by 30 June.

China has made their points that if nothing is agreed upon between two and the USA still imposes any tariffs then China will show no cooperation and retaliate from their tariffs on U.S. exports such as that of soya beans.

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"If Chinese businesses can make an investment in the U.S., American companies should be able to make the same investment in China". Washington says it would also continue to pursue a legal case it has filed against Beijing at the World Trade Organization regarding intellectual property rights.

China retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about Dollars three billion on 128 United States products.

"Last week, the President revealed the utter hollowness of his promises by pledging the American government resources to a Chinese company that has violated U.S. sanctions by selling technology to North Korea and Iran, and that is a known cyber security risk to the United States", she said. Mnuchin's comments followed a commitment by China to significantly increase its purchases of USA farm goods and energy products, such as natural gas.

The White House said the policies included forced technology transfer; requiring licensing at less than economic value; state-directed acquisition of sensitive U.S. technology for strategic purposes; and outright cybertheft.

In the statement, China also promised to defend its domestic economy in the event that the Trump administration continues the trade attacks.

The White House said Tuesday the tax will affect goods worth $50 billion and include products related to the Made in China 2025 program, a 2015 initiative promoting the country's information technology, robotics, aerospace, marine, rail, auto, power, agriculture and bio-medical industries.

Beijing has previously pledged to retaliate against the 25 percent tariffs. Doing so would not only undermine China's short-term priority to lift the ban on ZTE but would also risk further retaliation and escalation from the United States. "It is obviously against the consensus reached by the U.S. and China in Washington recently". "China's unwillingness to agree to a trade deficit reduction target or make other major concessions has probably emboldened those in the administration who have argued for a hard line stance against China on trade issues".

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