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Trump is seeking to ratchet up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25% tariff on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports, his administration says.

Slapping additional tariffs on Chinese imports - 60 percent of which are made by foreign firms, including American companies - will only raise costs for domestic United States consumers, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

- China's foreign minister said Thursday that US threats to hike tariffs run against the trend toward globalization and will hurt USA businesses and consumers.

Wang said Beijing recognizes that the USA side was trying to put pressure on China.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated at a regular news briefing in Beijing that the US' efforts at "blackmail" would fail.

Senior administration officials on Wednesday didn't directly accuse Chinese officials of manipulating the country's currency, something USA officials have complained about in the past.

Trump said last month that he's willing to impose tariffs on every good imported from China, which totaled more than $500 billion previous year.

Trump administration officials say the U.S.'s robust economy gives it the high ground in the trade battle against China, which is showing signs of an economic slowdown.

If Trump imposes the new duties on China as well as a threatened third set of tariffs on another $200 billion of imports, effectively all of the Asian nation's us exports would be impacted.

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The highest penalties on the new list would be imposed on honey, vegetables, mushrooms and chemicals, targeting farming and mining areas that supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

In addition to the tariffs now in place, the Trump administration has proposed an additional 10 percent tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of imports from China. The U.S. exports goods to China amounting to $130 bln, so it is unlikely that it will be able to respond with a proportionate expansion.

China's top diplomat on Thursday encouraged the Trump administration to "calm down" amid escalating tariff threats, saying increased rhetoric will not lead to results.

"First, I suggest the USA take the right attitude and not to try to blackmail China as it doesn't work", spokesman Geng Shuang said in response to a question.

"China has illegally retaliated against United States workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

Asked about communication between the two countries on the dispute, Geng said China had "always upheld using dialogue and consultations to handle trade frictions", but that dialogue must be based on mutual respect and equality.

But whatever the reason, the longer the trade war continues, the more Trump will find himself in a bind: on one hand he wants lower rates and a weaker dollar, on the other he keeps escalating by enacting ever bigger (and higher) tariffs on China, which are sure to prompt a broad inflationary response in the USA economy as we have already discussed.

"The current unilateral threats and pressure from the United States will only backfire", he said. History nearly guarantees that consumers will be picking up the tab for the US-Chinese trade dispute.

In response, the White House has established a comment period on the proposed tariffs, which includes public hearings where businesses can request exemptions.


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