China's tariff response takes effect after Trump ignites trade war

08 July, 2018, 08:15 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • U.S. cargo ship carrying soybeans in race to beat China's retaliatory tariffs

Punishing US tariffs on Chinese imports took effect on Friday, the first shot in what Beijing called "the largest trade war in economic history" between the world's top two economies.

Mr Trump has already imposed tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, and started charging levies on the imports of steel and aluminium from the European Union, Mexico and Canada.

Lu provided no details, but the Chinese Communist Party-run People's Daily said the Chinese General Administration of Customs was carrying out a plan announced last month to impose 25 percent tariffs on a US$34 billion list of U.S. goods, including soybeans, pork and electric cars.

China's currency, the yuan, has dropped 3.5 percent against the dollar over the past month, giving Chinese companies a price edge over their USA competition.

Beijing had said it would retaliate with punitive measures on United States products worth a similar amount, including soybeans, pork and cotton, but it had not officially confirmed on Friday that they had taken effect.

Companies worry that the spiraling dispute could chill global economic growth, but Asian financial markets took yesterday's developments in stride.

Beijing accused the USA of starting the "largest trade war in economic history".

When it comes to China, Trump believes Beijing is using "unfair" trade practices to gain an advantage on the USA, including lax observation of intellectual property law.

In a further move to escalate tensions between the world's two largest economies, U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington could ultimately raise tariffs on more than $500 billion in Chinese products - almost the total value of U.S. imports from the country previous year.

After that, the hostilities could intensify: Trump said Washington is ready to target an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports - and then $300 billion more - if Beijing does not yield.

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Following the announcement of new US tariffs in mid-June, China's Commerce Ministry said that the government would impose an additional 25% tariff on 545 kinds of American products of the same value, including soybeans, automobiles and seafood.

Consumer Technology Association: "While President Trump says his trade policy is meant to punish China, the numbers show that, in reality, USA businesses, workers and consumers will pay the price under this policy", said Sage Chandler, the group's vice president for global trade.

Accusing China of conducting "unfair" trade practices, Trump has pledged to protect US intellectual property, stop noneconomic transfers of industrially significant technology and intellectual property to China, and increase access to the Chinese market for American products.

Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association, said prices have dropped in the past month, but "we typically are not selling a large number of soybeans at this time of the year".

Under the banner of his "America First" policy, Trump has also targeted other traditional trade partners of the USA, such as the European Union, Japan, Mexico and even Canada. The dollar and Treasuries edged lower as traders looked ahead to U.S.jobs data. We understand that they have not treated American business and American trading partners very well over the past several decades. Hardliners such as Peter Navarro, a trade policy adviser, says the United States is defending itself against an "aggressive" China.

The White House said it would consult on tariffs on the other $US16b of products, and would apply these later. "At that point, the USA will be more interested in negotiations, and the Chinese side will also want to come to the table". The dollar and Treasuries edged lower as traders looked ahead to the release of U.S. jobs data. Some economists question the accuracy of the official figures, yet the US Census Bureau shows America bought $376bn more of Chinese goods than the total value of all US goods sold in the Asian country past year. Another $16 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese imports are set to hit in the next two weeks.

What do China and Russian Federation say? On Thursday, he suggested the possibility of tariffs on nearly $500 billion more of Chinese goods.

The U.S. and China launched the opening salvos in a burgeoning trade war yesterday in a move that already has MA businesses fearing the collateral damage.

The Chinese side sees Trump's threats as an attempt to hold back its economic growth - and has vowed to match them move for move.

USA pork faces the biggest risk from trade disruptions because its output has surged after new slaughterhouses opened, CoBank said.

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