Trump's China tariffs could be imposed in June

The US will impose a hefty 25 per cent tariff on the United States dollars 50 billion worth of Chinese goods containing "industrially significant" technology, the White House said today, days after the two sides reached an agreement and vowed not to launch a trade war against each other.

The heightened China fears came in advance of a scheduled trip to Beijing by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who according to a Politico story out Tuesday Trump has needed as "past his prime" in the Oval Office.

US President Donald Trump will announce restrictions on investment by Chinese entities in the United States to halt the transfer of "industrially significant" technologies to the country, part of an effort to force Beijing to grant US companies easier access to its markets and balance the bilateral trade relationship.

The latest signal from the White House sounds like the more hawkish wing of Trump's trade team is trying to amplify its hard line, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said this month that any talk of a trade war was suspended for now.

The administration laid out a list of abusive trading actions by China - including placing high tariffs on USA goods and banning some imports - that have led to America's $375 billion trade deficit in 2017.

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The US will also continue to pursue litigation at the World Trade Organisation for violations of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights based on China's discriminatory practices for licensing intellectual property, the statement said.

In this November 9, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a joint statement to members of the media Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.

The White House also said it plans to announce new measures to restrict Chinese investment "related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology" by 30 June. The final list will be announced by June 15 with tariffs imposed shortly after.

Mr. Trump has often talked about challenging what he has described as China's unfair trade practices, but his advisers are deeply divided over the best course for doing so.

The United States has also long complained that China forces US companies to share technology with Chinese firms as part of joint ventures in order to gain access to its market.

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