Trump's latest US$200 billion China tariffs target consumers

European exporters shift trade to avoid higher US tariffs

President Donald Trump escalated his trade war with China Tuesday, identifying an additional $200 billion in Chinese products that he intends to hit with import tariffs.

The US had no choice but to move forward on the new tariffs after China failed to respond to the administration's concerns over unfair trade practices and Beijing's abuse of American intellectual property, the officials said.

The office will accept public comments and hold hearings on the plan this coming August 20-23 before reaching a decision after August 31, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

The move would be the latest in the escalating trade skirmish between the world's two biggest economies.

The previous round of tariffs: The Trump administration last week imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 million in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to impose retaliatory tariffs of the same amount on U.S. imports.

The tariff list could be released as soon as Tuesday, and likely this week, the report said.

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Also Tuesday, China stepped up action against some US goods by announcing anti-dumping duties raw materials used in making optical fibers.

"As in the past, the United States is willing to engage in efforts that could lead to a resolution of our concerns about China's unfair trade practices and to China opening its market to U.S. goods and services", he added. But China only bought about $135 billion in USA goods past year, meaning it will run out of American products to tax before it matches Trump's latest move.

"Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise".

Tariff hikes are "hitting immediately the bottom line" of companies that rely on the free flow of trade across countries, said Mats Harborn, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. And China's retaliation was targeted at soy farmers and others in the U.S. Republican heartland. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour". But Trump hasn't backed down, arguing that China's unfair trading practices are hurting American workers.

"This is where a painful situation gets more painful", said Phil Levy, a former White House economist in the George W. Bush administration.

"I'm not sure that Trump feels pressure".

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