Trump ready to impose tariffs on about $50 billion in Chinese goods

The move would also come at a time when China- the world’s largest car market- is moving in the opposite direction lowering taxes on imported vehicles from 25% to 15

President Donald Trump is set to approve tariffs on a new list containing roughly $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods, according to press reports.

The president will also unveil a slightly altered list of goods that will be impacted by tariffs, with Reuters reporting that it will be smaller than the initial list, first proposed back at the start of April. "I'm not going to get out ahead of the announcement", she said.

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. Chinese President Xi Jinping seemed to relent to some extent in response, showing a willingness to lower Chinese tariffs on U.S.

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

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday that China's response would be immediate and that Beijing would "take necessary measures to defend our legitimate rights and interests".

DeLauro said the Trump Commerce Department's disorderly implementation of trade enforcement tools failed to inspire confidence in the President's ability to appropriately hold the trading partners accountable.

"I stressed how important it is for President Trump to rectify that situation so that trade becomes more balanced, more reciprocal and more fair, with the opportunity to have American workers be treated fairly", he said.

China, the world's No. 2 behind the USA, has pledged to retaliate on US exports including soybeans and pork.

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 previous year.

But while strong words have been said within the Chinese media, the government has made it clear that its willing to engage with the United States on trade issues.

Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser, warned Thursday that the trade spat could boost prices for raw materials and food, leading to higher rates of inflation and possibly recession.

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

The $100 billion list will be subject to the same public comment and hearing process as the $50 billion list, so it could take 60 days or more to put into effect, three sources familiar with the Trump administration's thinking told Reuters.

Trump also was bullish at and after the recent G7 meetings when he, alongside National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, refused to budge on their financial and trade policies.

The list is meant to minimise the impact on USA consumers and businesses by selecting goods where there are ample alternative supplies from other countries.

But that amount is still significant and all but guaranteed to provoke a response form Beijing, which has its own tariff target list of $50 billion in USA goods, including soybeans, beef and cars.

A Wall Street Journal report warned that the United States decision could become the start of a tit-for-tat series of retaliatory moves.

The president has blamed China for the loss of 60,000 US factories and 6 million American jobs, numbers most economists regard as including the effects of increased manufacturing automation.

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