The tariffs to take effect from Monday, start at 10 per cent
The tariffs to take effect from Monday, start at 10 per cent

Australia ‘will be affected’ by Trump’s tariffs on China

LABOR frontbencher Brendan O'Connor fears Australia will be affected by US President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The tariffs to take effect from Monday, start at 10 per cent, and will rise to 25 per cent at the beginning of next year.

Mr O'Connor said there was "never a dull moment" with President Trump as the global heavyweights trade blows.

"There will be ramifications - the extent and nature of which we don't know yet - but there'll be some impact on Australia," Mr O'Connor told Sky News on Tuesday.

"The retaliation is going to ripple through this region, without a shadow of a doubt." Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Australia was always concerned when people flouted the traditional rules-based order of international trade. "We've continued consistently to urge parties not to pursue distorting subsidies and not to pursue unilateral tariff actions," he told ABC radio. Senator Birmingham said the government was focused on securing farmers preferential treatment to global markets and guarding against other nations dumping low-value goods on Australian soil.

"Tariffs ultimately result in consumers paying more and disruptive trade practices ultimately hurt economies rather than help them," he said. "That's why we continue to urge everybody … to think carefully about the consequences of doing so, to recognise that hurts their economies, it has possible negative impacts on other economies.

"It means consumers end up paying more, taxpayers end up subsiding more. They're not good things."


The Trump administration will impose tariffs on $US200 billion more in Chinese goods starting next week, escalating a trade war between the world's two biggest economies and potentially raising prices on goods ranging from handbags to bicycle tires.

The tariffs will start at 10 per cent, beginning Monday of next week, and then rise to 25 per cent on Jan. 1.

President Donald Trump made the announcement Monday in a move that is sure to ratchet up hostilities between Washington and Beijing. Trump has already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods. And China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president's supporters in the U.S. farm belt.

Beijing has warned that it would hit an additional $60 billion in American goods if Trump ordered more tariffs. If China does retaliate, Trump threatened Monday to add a further $267 billion in Chinese imports to the target list. That would raise the total to $517 billion - covering nearly everything China sells the United States.

The administration said Monday that it had withdrawn some items from its preliminary list of $200 billion in Chinese imports to be taxed, including child-safety products like bicycle helmets. And in a victory for Apple Inc. and its American customers, the administration removed smart watches and some other consumer electronics products from the list of goods to be targeted by the new tariffs.