In the US, deadline approaches for comment on $200bn tariffs on China

In the US, deadline approaches for comment on $200bn tariffs on China

Today is the last day for public comment on Donald Trump’s proposal to impose a further 25% tariff on $200

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Photo: AP

Today is the last day for public comment on Donald Trump’s proposal to impose a further 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, including construction products, electronics and apparel.

The ongoing trade war has seen both countries levy $50 billion of tariffs on the other. Meanwhile, talks between officials of both governments ended on August 23 without any progress.

Beijing has agreed to some reforms—for example, removing restrictions on foreign companies in the financial sector. However, a key sticking point is the US demand that China significantly reduce industrial subsidies to Chinese firms, which Washington views as an unfair competitive advantage. However, Beijing argues such measures are required to kickstart new industries such as robotics and artificial intelligence.

The chances of a deal now look extremely remote. Trump still intends to take China to the WTO over its industrial subsidies and with midterm elections in November, the tough rhetoric is likely to increase. Beijing is likely to wait until after the mid-term congressional elections in November before it decides on its next move.

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