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Trump starts Tariff Trade War with China, Beijing vows Retaliation

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The Trump administration plans to impose tariffs worth as much as $60 billion on Chinese products as early as this week to punish Beijing for what the U.S. perceives as intellectual property theft from American businesses, according to two people familiar with the matter.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is leading an investigation into China’s treatment of intellectual property, and policies that the U.S. believes force American companies to turn over their technological know-how as the price of doing business there. The administration is said to be considering wide-ranging tariffs on everything from consumer electronics to shoes and clothing made in China, as well as restrictions on Chinese investments in the U.S., according to people briefed on the matter.

The exact size and makeup of the sanctions could still change, said two people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions aren’t public. While Trump has repeatedly singled out China as a key trade violator, his toughest actions such as withdrawing from an Asia-Pacific trade pact — which excluded China — and slapping tariffs on steel have undermined relations with allies more than with the world’s second-biggest economy.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

The Washington Post reported earlier Monday that the administration planned to impose $60 billion worth of tariffs by Friday, after the president rejected a proposal by his officials to levy $30 billion in duties.


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