President Donald Trump believes the USA has the upper hand in the trade dispute with China and reportedly instructed aides to press ahead with tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports even as his administration renewed a push for negotiations.
The tariffs come as a number of top White House advisers have been trying to de-escalate tensions between Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Citing anonymous sources, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal reported that the tariffs would be set at 10 percent. If imposed, those tariffs would bring the total imports from China subject to penalties to more than $500 billion.
In retaliation Beijing has pledged to hit back with tariffs on $60 billion of Us exports, including meat, coffee, furniture and vehicle parts.
The White House said in a statement that Trump had been clear that he and his administration would continue to take action to address China's trade practices and encouraged Beijing to address US concerns.
Details on the potential trade talks were thin, but Larry Kudlow, White House economic advisor, said the prospect of talks was a positive development.
Trump threatened a third tranche of tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese imports on September 7, which would mean levying duties on almost everything China exports to the United States Trump said at the time those tariffs were "ready to go on short notice", but the administration hasn't yet published a list for public comment. American officials also worry they might erode US industrial leadership.
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A public comment period ended last week for the $200 billion tariff list, which included various internet technology products and other electronics, printed circuit boards, and consumer goods ranging from handbags to bicycles and furniture. But 2018 imports from China through July were up almost 9 percent over the same period of 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Trump has also threatened another round of tariffs on $267 billion of Chinese goods. Disclosure on Wednesday that the USA sought to renew the talks rallied US stocks and emerging-market assets.
China responded by imposing tariffs on USA products like beef and soybeans, a response that spooked the US agriculture industry and angered Trump and other White House officials.
China's Foreign Ministry said it welcomed the invitation.
China retaliated by imposing 25 per cent tariffs on American goods worth Dollars 16 billion.
Efforts to end the trade dispute have fizzled so far.