Trump slaps 24% tariff on Chinese goods

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The White House had said last month that it would target "industrially significant" technology and products as an effort to protect US intellectual property.

Some new products will replace some original items on the list to be announced Friday.

As Trump prepares to impose the new tariffs on China, there is already evidence that his program is having a negative impact on some areas of industry and agriculture in Europe.

"If the U.S. side adopts unilateral protectionist measures and damages China's interests, we will immediately react and take necessary measures to firmly safeguard our legitimate rights and interests", said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang during a regular news briefing.

Trump has already slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan, drawing a rebuke from USA allies.

Renegotiating America's trade deals to reduce deficits was a major promise of Trump's presidential campaign.

China said it would retaliate against the tariffs.

China is one of North Korea's closest allies and holds sway over Pyongyang because it accounts for roughly 80 per cent of North Korea's foreign trade.

USA tech companies and trade groups, long critical of a number of China's trade practices, are opposed to tariffs as a way to curb Beijing's behavior. A recent study by Purdue University economists predicts that soybean exports to China could drop by a whopping 65% if China imposes a 25% tariff on USA soybeans.

Administration officials have signaled support for imposing the tariffs in a dispute over allegations that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology, according to officials briefed on the plans.

Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful that they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump's watch and undermine the benefits of the tax cuts he signed into law past year. "Those are all historic ingredients for an economic slowdown", Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser, said at an event sponsored by The Washington Post.

"US-China trade tensions will be long-lasting", said Yifan Hu, regional chief investment officer and chief China economist at UBS Wealth Management told a briefing in Beijing.

The two countries have been negotiating on trade issues, but President Xi Jinping's government has indicated it will drop any commitments made in recent talks if Trump follows through on his tariff threat.

Lu Xiang, a U.S. specialist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the world was facing the most uncertain economic times since the cold war.

Spain's newly appointed agricultural minister, Luis Planas, also opposed the tariff's impact, saying it was unjust.

The Trump administration had prepared a refined list of Chinese products to be hit with tariffs that hones in on technologies where China wants to establish itself as a leader, according to five different people familiar with the matter.

"Moving forward with tariffs on goods imported from China will harm US consumers and businesses, and will fail to change China's discriminatory and damaging trade practices", Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), said in a statement last month.

Then in April, the administration provided a preliminary list of technology goods that the USA might target for tariffs.

Another person familiar with the administration's thinking said it could be hard to reach $100 billion with a 33 per cent threshold.

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