TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Six days of public hearings on the proposed duties of up to 25 percent will start on Monday in Washington as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to pressure Beijing for sweeping changes to its economic and trade policies.
In more than 1,400 written comments submitted to the US Trade Representative (USTR) that will be echoed in the hearings, most companies argued that the tariffs will cause harm and higher costs for products ranging from Christmas lights to Halloween costumes to nuclear fuel inputs, while a small number praised the tariffs or asked that they be extended to other products.
“USTR’s proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports dramatically expands the harm to American consumers, workers, businesses, and the economy,” the US Chamber of Commerce said in written testimony for the hearing.
In early July, Washington imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of imports from China as a first step in a possible series of increases that Trump says could affect up to $550 billion of Chinese goods, which is equivalent to the total value of Chinese exports to the US in 2017.
The top US business lobbying group said the White House lacks a “coherent strategy” to address China’s alleged theft of US intellectual property and other harmful trade practices and called for “serious discussions” with Beijing.
Unlike previous rounds of US tariffs, which sought to shield American consumers by targeting Chinese industrial machinery, electronic components and other intermediate goods, thousands of consumer products that are made in China could be directly hit with US tariffs by late September.
The $200 billion list targets Chinese furniture, lighting products, plastics, bicycles, chemicals, tires, seafood and car seats for babies.
Mid-level officials in the Trump administration and their Chinese counterparts are expected to meet later this week in Washington to discuss their trade dispute. But it is unclear whether the talks will have any effect on the implementation of US tariffs and retaliation by China.
Many observers say the US tariffs imposed on Chinese-made products are more than just trade friction between the two countries and are a disguise for high-tech hegemony.
They say the US wants to prevent China from challenging its digital supremacy, and will deliberately try to derail Made in China 2025 -- the industrial policy meant to establish China as a high-tech superpower.
Source: Press TV