U.S. finalizes new batch of tariffs on $16bn of Chinese products

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Data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Wednesday that exports advanced 12.2 percent year-on-year in July.

It has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in us goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

Due to higher imports, the trade surplus fell to $28 billion in July, which was below the expected $38.9 billion level.

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute over Washington's charges that China uses predatory tactics in a drive to supplant U.S. technological supremacy.

This is the second tranche of such tariffs and comes into effect on August 23.

But Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economists said: "Shipments to the USA did weaken slightly, which hints at some impact from the tariffs".

Americans import far more from China than the other way around, however, meaning Beijing may at some point need to look for other means of retaliation.

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The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled a list of roughly $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be hit with 25% tariffs.

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute.

And the conflict is likely to escalate: The administration is preparing tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion ($297 billion NZD) in Chinese products.

In March 2018, the USTR had released the findings of its "exhaustive" Section 301 investigation that found China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are "unreasonable and discriminatory and burden USA commerce".

The office of USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden U.S. commerce".

United States officials said there were 279 new goods to be targeted in the latest round of tariffs, including motorcycles, tractors, railroad parts, electronic circuits, motors and farm equipment. This was faster than the 10 percent rise economists had forecast.

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