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The move drew immediate condemnation from Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, who called it "reckless" and not "targeted".

American experts have been quick to slam the President's new rules and accused him of "punishing" ordinary American people.

China accused the USA of starting "the largest trade war in economic history", after the first round of tariffs took effect last week. The list covers some $200 billion in Chinese exports that could be hit by a 10 percent tariff.

"In light of China's decision to respond to the investigation by imposing duties on US goods, the Trade Representative proposes a modification of the action taken in this investigation". This has raised concerns that China could retaliate with non-tariff trade measures.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced plans for further tariffs as an additional action to the existing 301 case relating to alleged Chinese theft of US intellectual property. The prospect of an worldwide trade war has sent jitters through world markets.

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This most recent maneuver follows a threat President Trump made last month, and comes days after the USA and China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $30 billion in goods.

The tariffs will not be imposed until after a two-month period of public comment on the proposed list, but some USA business groups and senior lawmakers were quick to criticize the move. However, because China exports more to the USA than it imports there are limits on the amount of tariffs Beijing can impose on American goods. High-level talks between the two countries starting in May failed to deliver a breakthrough to head off a trade war.

Robert Holleyman, the USA official in charge of trade with Asia during former president Barack Obama's second term, described the tariffs as "tax hikes on US imports". "Reliance on more and more taxes as a means to drive change is a high-risk strategy with USA importers and exporters at the heart".

The earliest they would come into effect is September.

The U.S. Trade Representative is taking comments on these proposed tariffs until August 17. Regardless of the outcome, USA shoppers are poised to be losers, despite assurances from the administration that the new tariffs take into account the potential impact on consumers. "This new round of proposed tariffs takes the fight onto yet another level from which it is going to be hard for either side to make a graceful retreat", said Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund's China division. Chinese tactics, the administration said, include outright cybertheft and forcing U.S. companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.


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