Brussels in last-ditch attempt to avoid Trump's trade tariffs

Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner dine with Chinese officials

The United States said on Tuesday that it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China and would use it unless Beijing addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property.

Details of the investment and export controls will be announced by June 30 and the final tariff list will be published by June 15. China and the United States averted a trade war by reaching an agreement on May 20 under which Beijing agreed to "significantly increase" its purchases of American goods and services to reduce Dollars 375 billion trade deficit with Washington.

After the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a list of 1,300 product categories for potential tariffs of $50 billion on Chinese goods, China retaliated with a threat of an equal $50 billion in tariffs on U.S. exports to China.

After that meeting, the two sides announced that Beijing would buy significantly more USA agricultural and energy products in a bid to reduce the bilateral trade deficit, and they said they established a framework for addressing technology trade irritants.

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The instructions also say that Chinese citizens seeking visas will need special clearance from multiple U.S. agencies if they work as researchers or managers for companies on a U.S. Commerce Department list of entities requiring higher scrutiny.

"The lack of clarity surrounding the administration's plans is creating significant uncertainty for American businesses, disrupting supply chains and threatening to undermine the economic gains we've seen over the past year".

State news agency Xinhua said China hoped that the USA would not act impulsively but stood ready to fight to protect its interests. However, the US has yet to publish a list of target products for the $100 billion, and the White House statement makes no reference to the second potential tranche of duties.

Trump ordered the tariffs in March in response to what he called "tremendous intellectual property theft" by China, identified in a Section 301 trade investigation launched last summer.

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Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a signing ceremony during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing, China April 27, 2018. That document said the USA would review and tighten visa procedures "to reduce economic theft by non-traditional intelligence collectors".

Fears of a trade war between the world's two biggest economies had also receded after US President Donald Trump's administration said it had reached a deal to reprieve ZTE after banning China's second-biggest telecoms equipment maker from buying US parts.

But when Trump subsequently said he would ease penalties against ZTE in order to save Chinese jobs, this drew a sharp backlash from his supporters.

The merry little trade war with China appears to be back on, as the White House announced tariffs on a broad range of imports. However, the big risk is that Beijing won't have any confidence in Ross to make a deal that Trump will accept. Ross will have less than two weeks to solve the knotty issue of trade before the tariffs get officially imposed, so there's not much room for error.

Trump admits he's 'not satisfied' with China trade talks
This is still not the end of things, trade deals like this are often of the "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed" type. But no formal deals have been struck, and China has denied that any figure was set during negotiations in Washington.

The possibility of inflamed trade tensions, coming just over a week after a trade war with China seemed unlikely, helped contribute to a tumble in USA markets.

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