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As President Trump continues to take a tough stance on trade, US businesses are looking for ways to avoid costly import-export fees, a byproduct of ongoing trade tensions.

Trump has threatened to "immediately pursue phase three", which could include tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese exports.

"Contrary to views in Washington, China can - and will - dig its heels in and we are not optimistic about the prospect for a resolution in the short term", said Zarit of the American Chamber of Commerce.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has indicated that Trump could be willing to meet face-to-face with China President Xi Jinping to smooth over trade tensions at the United Nations General Assembly later this month or at the Group of 20 nation summit in Argentina in November.

European Chamber President Mats Harborn said engagement on the part of Washington and Beijing is the answer.

The administration's proposal for the tariffs on US$200 billion (S$247 billion) of products drew protest from technology companies earlier this year, but the final list of taxed devices described by the official avoids many big consumer brand names and products. "I urge China's leaders to take swift action to end their country's unfair trade practices".

The US Trade Representative has published the full list of goods covered by the tariffs, from "frozen retail cuts of meat of swine" and live eels through to "monopods, bipods, tripods and similar articles of aluminum", here (PDF).

"If we're not right, we'll roll them back, " Trump is reported to have said.

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"We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly".

"This measure by United States side added more uncertainties to the talks between the two sides", he said.

"We were trying to do things that were least intrusive on the consumer", Ross said on CNBC. Retaliatory tariffs add to the sting, since they effectively raise the price of American products in foreign markets.

Consumer safety products made in China, such as bicycle helmets sold by Vista Outdoor and baby auto seats and other products from Graco Inc. also were taken off the list.

"They also know that I am the one that knows how to stop it", he said. Trading partners, in response, have retaliated with tariffs of their own on $133 billion worth of USA exports. "But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices".

This will allow United States companies some time to adjust their supply chains to alternate countries, a senior administration official said. Instead, China responded to the United States tariff action by taking further steps to harm USA workers and businesses. The administration is targeting a variety of products - from sockeye salmon to bamboo mats - forcing USA companies to scramble for suppliers outside China, absorb the import taxes or pass along the burden to their customers.

Lam Research Corp, a company that makes gear for manufacturing chips, said in a September 6 letter to trade regulators that duties on raw silicon, ceramic machinery parts and other items "add costs to our USA manufacturing operations and reduce our competitiveness in the global semiconductor manufacturing market".

With the latest tariff escalation, American consumers could start feeling the cost in everyday goods. Meanwhile, a UK-US trade deal could "rewrite the rules" of global commerce, according to a new report. As prices rise, consumers in those foreign markets shift to competing products, in some cases shutting US producers out completely.


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