USTR ends public comment on third China tariff list


Mobile phones, the biggest USA import from China, have so far been spared, but would be engulfed if Trump activates the $US267 billion tariff list.

His comments contradict the more diplomatic remarks earlier on Friday from his top economic adviser Larry Kudlow who said talks with Beijing are continuing to try to defuse the conflict, and that he was hopeful that a solution could be found.

The Trump administration is reportedly considering using an Obama-era executive order to slap new sanctions on Chinese entities using cyberattacks to steal US intellectual property.

Trump tells reporters on Air Force One that his plans to slaps taxes of up to 25 percent on Chinese imports would depend on the choices made by that country's leaders. Trump latest tariffs threats, if he follows through, would more than cover the value of all goods the USA buys from China, according to USA government data from previous year.

"To a certain extent it's going to be up to China", he said. China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against USA companies operating there. The president says he believes that narrowing the trade gap will bring jobs to the United States, even though it could spark higher inflation.

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'Our concern with these tariffs is that the USA will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower US growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers, ' the company said in a letter to the US government.

Most comments were from companies seeking to remove products from the tariff list, arguing there were few, if any alternative sources and the duties would cause financial hardship.

China has said it would be forced to retaliate to all of the US's tariff measures, fanning concerns that a deepening trade war could dent the global economic outlook.

Mr. Trump claims that China's trade policies are unfair, including the widespread practice of requiring foreign companies operating there to share intellectual property. "We want lower (trade) barriers across the board", Kudlow said. "However, hope springs eternal".