Trump To Announce $200 Billion In New China Tariffs As Soon As Monday

In the latest installment of the story that just won't go away, the WSJ reported on Saturday that - as Bloomberg reported first yesterday - the Trump administration plans to announce new tariffs on up to $200 billion in Chinese goods as soon as Monday and otherwise "within days", in a move that will likely render moot the high-level, U.S.-China talks set for later this month, will prompt an immediate retaliation from China, and may lead to a sharply lower futures open on Sunday night.

The silver lining in the imminent announcement is that while previously Trump had said he would proceed with a 25% tariff level, the WSJ reports that the US will start with tariffs of "around 10%." The level was lowered "following extensive public hearings and the submission of written comments where importers and others complained of the possible impact of the duties" as well as to try to reduce the bite on American consumers ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season, these people said.

But the people familiar said that the tariff level could be raised back to 25% if Mr. Trump concludes that Beijing doesn’t soon show signs that it is acceding to U.S. demands to change its economic policies.

Furthermore, WSJ sources said that while details were still being completed over the weekend, the tariff level could change, or that Trump could change his mind entirely. As of Saturday, an announcement was planned for Monday or Tuesday.

Recall last week Deutsche Bank calculated that so far the US had carefully avoided consumer and China dependent products, and as a result, the trade war so far has had little impact on US economy and consumers. But this would become harder as the tariff list expands to the next $200 billion, which contains about 78 billion in consumer products (chart below, left). These include different types furniture (24bn), travel bags(2.2bn), vacuum cleaners (1.8bn), vinyl flooring (1.7bn), window/wall air conditioners (1.3bn), etc. Similarly, reliance on China increases sharply for the 200 billion products in tariff pipeline. China import shares are above 20% for most of the products, and for about half of them, China's share are more than 50% (chart below, right).

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