US finalizes next China tariff list targeting $16 billion in imports

A Chinese worker looks on as a cargo ship is loaded at a port in Qingdao Shandong Province

A Chinese worker looks on as a cargo ship is loaded at a port in Qingdao Shandong Province

The escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies...has seen the two sides impose tariffs on 34-billion dollars worth of each other's goods.

BEIJING-China's imports surged in July as it moved to shore up its economy and prepared for a long-term trade battle with the U.S.

The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce".

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite fresh U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as Washington finalised its new tariff list in a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.

China's closely watched surplus with the United States dipped only slightly to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June.

The investigation had revealed that China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from United States companies and it deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.

The first round of President Donald Trump's 25 percent punitive tariffs on China will hit $50 billion in goods starting August 23, the government announced Tuesday.

"Looking ahead, we expect export growth to cool in the coming months, though this will primarily reflect softer global growth rather than U.S. tariffs, the direct impact of which will continue to be mostly offset by the renminbi's (yuan's) recent depreciation", Capital Economics' Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note.

Trump, who has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win", has threatened to ramp up the pressure and slap tariffs on virtually all of China's exports to the United States if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce the $335 billion U.S. trade deficit with that country.

Chinese state media has said Beijing will not be cowed by Washington's threats.

Trump responded with a warning that the USA would consider tariffs on another $100 billion in Chinese goods. The retaliatory tariffs hit USA industries in areas of the US where President Trump has received significant support.

The office said the move is part of the US response to China's unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property.

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