US names Chinese products under proposed tariffs, including robotics, information tech and aerospace

Key Points
  • The U.S. Trade Representative says the proposed tariffs target products that benefit China's industrial plans but minimize the affect on the U.S. economy.
  • The Trump administration's stance on tariffs sparked fears of a trade war with China, which imposed taxes on U.S. food products imported there such as pork.
President Donald Trump delivers remarks on the Infrastructure Initiative at the Local 18 Richfield Training Site in Richfield, Ohio, March 29, 2018.
Yuri Gripas | Reuters

President Donald Trump unveiled a list Tuesday of Chinese imports his administration aims to target as part of a crackdown on what the president deems unfair trade practices.

Sectors covered by the proposed tariffs include products used for robotics, information technology, communication technology and aerospace.

The U.S. Trade Representative, which announced the list, says it targets products that benefit China's industrial plans "while minimizing the impact on the U.S. economy." Specifically, it takes aim at China policies that "coerce" American companies from transferring technology and intellectual property to local Chinese companies.

Food stocks suffer on new China tariffs
Food stocks suffer on new China tariffs

The public will be able to comment on the proposal.

The announcement could further escalate friction between the United States and its largest trading partner. Worries about a possible trade war have weighed on the U.S. stock market, which fell more than 2 percent on Monday but regained about half that on Tuesday.

On Monday local time, new Chinese tariffs on food and other products from the U.S. began, as retaliation against Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. China's new taxes will hit products such as pork and certain fruit and nuts coming from the U.S.

The Trump administration alleges that China has improperly taken U.S. intellectual property. The U.S. could levy tariffs on $50 billion to $60 billion of Chinese imports annually. On Tuesday, the announcement said the total value of imports subject to the tariff increase is equal to "the harm caused by China's unreasonable technology transfer policies."

Some opponents of Trump's planned tariff action, announced last month, argued it could raise prices on consumer goods.

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