Trump may impose tariffs on up to $60bn of Chinese imports


US President Donald Trump's administration is seeking to impose tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese imports and will target the technology and telecommunications sectors, according to two people who have discussed the issue with the administration.

As reported by CNBC, Trump vetoed proposals of tariffs on $30 billion of Chinese imports, claiming that more aggressive tariffs are necessary.

The White House declined to comment.

President Trump has said that the tariffs were for the national security interests of the U.S.

The move would punish Chinese tech companies for having United States companies give up their technology secrets in order to operate in China.

Higher tariffs for those products would be hurtful to American families, said one trade lobbyist.

"We're not talking about fancy cashmere sweaters, we're talking about cotton T-Shirts and jeans and shoes that kids wear for back-to-school", she added.

China has a trade surplus of more than $375 billion with the US and when the lead economic adviser for President Xi Jinping recently visited Washington, the administration pushed him to give them a way China could reduce that number. The proposed tariffs are based upon findings from an investigation by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer which was formed to determine whether China's practices are discriminatory or restrictive for U.S. commerce.

Trump was elected on a protectionist agenda, and in the a year ago he has pulled the U.S. out of the 14-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and started talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.

"The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the USA very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on Steel & Aluminum".

A China-based business source with knowledge of discussion among senior European officials said there had been a "clear effort" by the U.S. government over the past six months to introduce a coordinated approach to Chinese industrial policy, but that Trump's metals tariffs had undermined European support.

Last week, Trump has told members of his cabinet and his advisors that he plans to introduce Chinese commodity duties and impose restrictions on China's investments in response to the cases of intellectual property theft.

Trump on Thursday announced steep tariffs on steel and aluminum but provisionally exempted Canada and Mexico, two of the largest U.S. suppliers who are now participating in talks with Washington to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"He's serious about calling their hand on this, and my understanding is they are looking at a broad array of options to do that", Brady said. U.S. Treasury yields traded just off one-week lows touched earlier in the session.