An employee arranges tiles before packing into the boxes at the Shabbir Tiles & Ceramics Ltd. production facility in Karachi, Pakistan, (Photographer: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg)

Things China Was Going to Buy More of to Get Tariffs Instead

(Bloomberg) -- China will put higher tariffs on many of the goods it had earlier indicated it would buy more of, threatening retaliation against U.S. farmers and energy producers for President Donald Trump’s escalation of the trade conflict.

Tariffs on 659 items will be raised by 25 percent, according to a final list released by the Ministry of Commerce. The additional duties will hit coal, oil, and food ranging from asparagus to frozen trout and chick wings, but will spare planes from Boeing Co., which had been listed in April’s initial list.

In negotiations with the U.S. earlier this month, China offered to buy about $25 billion more energy and farm products, as a way to shrink the U.S. trade deficit, Bloomberg News reported. Now, those promises to raise purchases are void, and those items are in the cross-hairs for increased tariffs.

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Vegetables took up 14.6 percent of China’s imports from the U.S. in 2016, while fuel was 2.3 percent, and transportation products -- mostly airplanes -- accounted for 9.6 percent, according to the World Bank.

The new list is about six times longer than the original list, but many of the items on it aren’t actually traded much between the U.S. and China. For example, China’s imports of mango and pineapple from the U.S. are almost negligible, according to data compiled by Center for International Development at Harvard University. They’re on the list.

Here are some products newly added to the list of products China will impose tariffs on:

  • Fuel including coal, oil and natural gas
  • Frozen fish, lobster, crab, shrimp
  • Yogurt, cheese, butter
  • Vegetables such as potato, tomato, asparagus and eggplant
  • Fruits such as orange, mango, papaya
  • X-ray equipment

The tariffs will be imposed in two stages, mirroring the U.S.

The first stage covers about $34 billion in imports to be subject to an additional 25 percent tariff starting July 6. They included a variety of agricultural products, including soybeans, corn and wheat along with beef, pork and poultry, plus automobiles. A second set of tariffs to begin at a later date spanned other goods including coal, crude oil, gasoline and medical equipment.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Xiaoqing Pi in Beijing at xpi1@bloomberg.net;Miao Han in Beijing at mhan22@bloomberg.net

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

With assistance from Editorial Board