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

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

By Jeff and David Lawder

(Reuters) - U.S. has made up his mind to impose "pretty significant" tariffs on Chinese goods, an administration said on Thursday, as warned that it was ready to respond if chose to ratchet up trade tensions.

is due to unveil revisions to his initial tariff list targeting $50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday. The list will contain 800 product categories, down from 1,300 previously, according to another administration and an industry source familiar with the list.

no longer believes that Beijing's influence over is a compelling reason to ease up on trade talks now that his administration has opened up a direct line of communication with the nuclear-armed country, the said.

argued against imposing the tariffs at a meeting on Thursday but he was not expected to prevail, the official said.

The Chinese government's top diplomat, Wang Yi, said his country was prepared to respond if Trump went ahead with the tariffs.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing, with U.S. of State at his side, Wang said there were two choices when it came to the trade issue.

"The first choice is cooperation and mutual benefit. The other choice is confrontation and mutual loss. chooses the first," Wang said. "We hope the U.S. side can also make the same wise choice. Of course, we have also made preparations to respond to the second kind of choice."

The move toward imposing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods follows negotiations between U.S. and Chinese officials centred on increased purchases by of American farm and and cutting the U.S. trade deficit with

Commerce this month met Chinese officials in and brought back a Chinese proposal to buy around $70 billion worth of additional commodities and manufactured goods. But that offer has not been accepted by Trump, people familiar with the matter said.

Wang said the two countries had agreed to use "constructive means" to handle disagreements.

Pompeo said the U.S. deficit with was still too high, but that they had good talks.

"I stressed how important it is for 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.

Pompeo met with Chinese later in the evening, and wished Xi a happy birthday for Friday.

Xi told Pompeo he hoped that the could "cautiously and appropriately" handle sensitive issues to avoid "major disturbances" to Sino-U.S. ties, the said in a statement.


The warned that Trump's new tariffs threaten to undermine the global trading system, prompt retaliation by other countries and damage the U.S. economy.

It remains unclear when Trump would activate the tariffs, if he decides to do so. Several industry lobbyists told they expected the move to come as early as Friday, with publication of a Federal Register notice, or it could be put off until next week.

If adopts tariffs, Beijing is expected to hit back with its own duties on U.S. imports, including soybeans, cars, and planes, according to a list it released in early April.

Under the 1974 that Trump invoked to pursue a tariff investigation into China's intellectual property practices, he could delay the activation by 30 days. He couldn't also delay the tariffs by another 180 days if the U.S. Trade Representative's office finds negotiations with China are yielding progress.

A could not immediately be reached for comment.

In an interview aired on Wednesday, Trump told he was "very strongly clamping down on trade" with China.

Asked how strong, Trump said: "Well, I think very strongly. I mean you'll see over the next couple of weeks. They understand what we are doing."

Trump did not specifically mention the tariffs and added that he had "a very good relationship with President Xi (Jinping) of China."

The administration's trade hawks, including U.S. and adviser Peter Navarro, have advocated a tougher approach to address U.S. allegations that China has misappropriated American intellectual property through joint venture requirements, state-backed acquisitions of U.S. and outright theft.

Amid the rising trade tension, said Chinese exporters have been front-loading their shipments due to changes in the international trade environment.

(Additional reporting by in Washington and Michael Martina in Beijing; Writing by and Ben Blanchard; editing by Clarence Fernandez, and Leslie Adler)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, June 15 2018. 13:48 IST