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Trump tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods unveiled

China-U.S. tariffs, "Cold War on technology"
Ian Bremmer on China and U.S. tariffs, "Cold War on technology" 03:37

The Trump administration has released a preliminary list of 1,300 Chinese goods to be subject to U.S. tariffs, with a focus on high-tech items.

The document, issued Tuesday afternoon, lists $50 billion worth of imports to be subject to 25 percent tariff, accusing China of engaging in cybertheft and of setting trade terms that are unfavorable to U.S. companies. 

"China conducts and supports unauthorized intrusions into, and theft from, the computer networks of U.S. companies to access their sensitive commercial information and trade secrets," it declares.

The 58-page document lists, among its many items: heavy machinery; steel, metal and alloy items; electric generators; batteries and battery parts; transistors and semiconductors; motorcycles; airplane parts and weapons. 

The release of the list kicks off a comment period, with a public hearing scheduled for May 15. The public has until May 11 to submit comments. 

President Donald Trump initially announced the tariffs on March 22. They are separate from the tariffs on steel and aluminum, which China responded to this week with $3 billion in tariffs on a range of U.S. agricultural products, including pork and fruit. 

The latest trade action is much larger in scale, and could merit a much larger retaliation from China.  

China increases tariffs on 128 U.S. products in response to new U.S. levies 04:39

When the tariffs were first announced in March, China issued a response through its U.S. embassy: "If a trade war were initiated by the U.S., China would fight to the end to defend its own legitimate interests with all necessary measures." 

ITI, a technology industry trade group, decried the tariffs. 

"If history is any indication, these proposed tariffs will not work and will be entirely counterproductive. Tariffs penalize U.S. consumers by increasing prices on technology products and will not change China's behavior," it said in a statement.  

Industry groups have already lobbied hard against tariffs, telling the Trump administration they would set off a "chain reaction of negative consequences" for the economy. The stock market has been sensitive to all developments on trade with China, sinking when tensions escalate and surging when they ease. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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