Incredibly, the Trump administration continues to insist China has no reason to retaliate against the tariffs it imposed July 6. In its latest orgy of revenge, Washington has said it will tax an additional $200 billion in Chinese exports starting September.
The list of Chinese commodities facing retaliatory duties of 10 percent includes frozen meats; a lengthy list of live and fresh fish and seafood; butter; onions; garlic and other vegetables; fruits and nuts.
It also includes consumer goods such as beauty products; bicycles; car tires; furniture; wood products; handbags and suitcases; dog and cat food; baseball gloves; carpets; doors; skis; golf bags and toilet paper. Then, there are metals and a wide range of chemicals.
Increasing the taxes on these everyday commodities will greatly worsen the trade war started by president Donald Trump, and begin to affect average American consumers who will pay higher prices.
"As a result of China's retaliation and failure to change its practices, the president has ordered USTR to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports," said U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer in announcing the proposed tariffs.
Lighthizer defended Trump's launching a trade war against China.
"For over a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition," claims Lighthizer. "Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against U.S. products ... There is no justification for such action."
On July 6, the U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports worth $34 billion, and Beijing immediately retaliated with matching tariffs on the same amount of U.S. exports to China. Trump then promised revenge for this affront. Lighthizer's office will hold hearings on the targeted products.
White House officials said it might take two months to finalize the new list. Trump will then decide whether to go ahead with the tariffs.
Washington's trade war goal is to bring the total amount of Chinese imports up to 40 percent of the total imported from China since U.S. products hit by Beijing's retaliation represent that share of exports.
USTR is now finalizing an additional $16 billion in goods to be hit by 25 percent tariffs. China has vowed a tit-for-tat retaliation.