Australian dollar smacked as Trump readies $200bn tariffs for China

China urges domestic firms to boost non-American imports as trade war with US escalates

The Latest: China raises tariffs on optical fiber materials

President Donald Trump is preparing to release a list of an additional $200 billion in Chinese products to be hit with tariffs, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The move would be the latest in the escalating trade skirmish between the world's two biggest economies.

The move makes good on the president's threat to respond to China's retaliation for the initial USA tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods, which went into effect on Friday and would eventually place almost half of all Chinese imports under tariffs.

Chinese officials are expected to retaliate in other ways, hitting US firms in China with unplanned inspections, delays in approving financial transactions and other administrative headaches.

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"As a result of China's retaliation and failure to change its practices, the president has ordered USTR to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

The list of goods affected by the new tariffs includes seafood, fruits and vegetables, grains and tobacco. But China only bought about $135 billion in US goods a year ago, meaning it will run out of American products to tax before it matches Trump's latest move. The following day, China imposed tariffs on a slew of American agricultural goods.

The move drew immediate condemnation from Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, who called it "reckless" and not "targeted".

The White House has complained that China has used predatory practices in a relentless push to grant Chinese companies an unfair advantage in the industries of the future, including robotics, electric cars and biopharmaceuticals. These tactics include the outright theft of trade secrets, government subsidies to homegrown tech firms and demands that USA and other foreign companies hand over technology if they want access to China's vast market.

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