Trump admin. approves $50 billion tariffs on China

A cargo ship carrying containers stops at Qingdao Port

Other trade groups opposing the US tariffs included the Business Roundtable and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier on Friday, China vowed to do just that, saying it would strike back, just hours before Trump's statement.

"This situation is no longer sustainable", Trump said.

U.S. customs agents will begin collecting the duties on July 6, the administration said.

Beijing said Friday it will fight back with tariffs of its own.

United States tariffs that affect more than 800 Chinese products worth $34bn in annual trade are due to come into effect on 6 July.

Speaking to French news agency AFP, a European Commission source said that member states have "unanimously supported the commission's plan for the adoption of rebalancing measures on the U.S. tariffs". Those pledges came during negotiations with United States trade officials last month.

The decision has been made in line with relevant stipulations of the Foreign Trade Law of China and the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Import and Export Duties, as well as the fundamental principles of worldwide laws, said the statement. "We call on all countries to act together to firmly stop such an outdated and backward move, and to firmly safeguard the common interest of all mankind".

The administration, in addition, could impose additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures, the White House said. He has previously suggested those tariffs could apply to as much as $100 billion of products.

The S&P 1500 Steel index.SPCOMSTEEL fell 2.8 percent, while U.S. Steel Corp (X.N) shares closed down 4.2 percent.

Separate measures affecting 284 products worth about $16 billion (€13.8 billion) could take effect following a review and public comment process.

"The (steel company) earnings have been strong as a result of the tariffs the administration put in place already. They want to give the Chinese a little more time", the former senior Central Intelligence Agency official for East Asia told AFP.

Billions in new tariffs signal start of US-China 'trade war'
In general terms, they are products containing "industrially significant technologies", like aerospace, robotics and automobiles. On Friday, the United States imposed additional tariffs of 25 per cent on import of Chinese goods worth $ 50 billion.

And though the US and China reached a "consensus" at high-level trade talks led by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in May, Trump did not hesitate to trample on it.

A report in the Wall Street Journal quoting sources close to the matter said Thursday evening the list had been approved and would affect about $50 billion worth of goods, the same figure that was first announced in March.

The Global Times, meanwhile, said Mr Trump was disrupting the world order to appeal to voters who think he's fighting for them.

It's a quick response from the Beijing government to President Donald Trump's tariff increase on Chinese goods.

In mid-May, both sides announced a ceasefire after two rounds of trade negotiations.

Trump and his most hardline advisors - led by Peter Navarro, who is openly hostile to China - are convinced that the U.S. will win a trade war. "China is a powerful guardian and has enough ammunition to defend existing trade rules and fairness".

Ten days later, the White House abruptly said it would proceed with the tariffs, along with new limits on Chinese investments in the United States.

USA allies have been exasperated by Washington's refusal to negotiate exemptions for steel and aluminum tariffs and the issue boiled over at a meeting of the Group of Seven industrial nations earlier this month where Trump was left isolated. ZTE's fate had become entwined in the trade talks. But the agreement to save the company has faced resistance from Congress.

Trump has already slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan, drawing a rebuke from US allies. He again complained that he had been blindsided by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's criticism of his tariff threats at a summit-ending news conference.

The European Union and Canada have said they will enact retaliatory tariffs starting in July.

Tariffs on other United States goods will be announced at a later date, Xinhua said.

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