US officials are targeting a $300 bn (€266 bn) list of additional Chinese imports, including laptop computers, for tariff hikes.

The move ratchets up a trade fight that is shaking financial markets and fuelling fears about global economic growth.

The release followed Beijing’s announcement on Monday of tariffs of up to 25% on 60 billion dollars (£46 billion) of American imports in their escalating dispute over Chinese technology ambitions and other issues.

The list of 3,805 product categories is a step towards carrying out US President Donald Trump’s threat on May 5 to extend punitive 25% duties to all Chinese imports, the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced.

It said a June 17 hearing would be held before Washington decides how to proceed.

The list “covers essentially all products” not already affected by punitive tariffs, the USTR said.


Ireland ‘worst hit’ if US widens trade war front

It includes laptop computers, saw blades, turbine parts, tuna and garlic. The USTR noted it excludes pharmaceuticals and rare earths minerals used in electronics and batteries.

Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday for a second day amid investor anxiety about the impact of trade tensions on global economic growth.

China’s main market index slipped 0.7% and Tokyo’s benchmark fell 0.6%. Hong Kong, Australia and Taiwan also fell.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 3.4% in its biggest drop of the year.

That came after Beijing retaliated for US tariff increases on Friday on $200 bn (€177 bn) of US goods. China’s finance ministry announced duties of 5% to 25% due to take effect on June 1 on about 5,200 American products, including batteries, spinach and coffee.

Mr Trump warned on Twitter that China “will be hurt very badly” if it does not agree to a trade deal.

Both governments indicated more negotiations are likely.

– Press Association


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