Trump accuses China of using trade to target U.S. election, threatens retaliation

19 September, 2018, 05:42 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • U.S. President Trump discusses Kavanaugh nomination to Supreme Court during joint news conference with Poland's President Duda at the White House in Washington

In a second statement Tuesday morning, China announced it will retaliate with tariffs ranging from 5 to 10 percent on approximately $60 billion worth of us imports.

The president had already announced tariffs on $50 billion (€43 billion) worth of Chinese goods since July in two phases.

If the USA continues to raise its tariffs, China will respond in kind, the report said.

It could have been longer: some 300 product categories were removed from the list following lobbying from the retail industry and strong opposition from technology giants.

Forcing more favourable terms of trade on China has been a critical component of Mr. Trump's "America-first" politics. Trump's decision threatens to upend the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough with Chinese negotiators.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited the negotiators to Washington this week to resume talks.

While tariffs make imports more expensive, that also increases the costs for export industries, which makes them less competitive. China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president's supporters in the US farm belt. "I think that kind of tactic is not going to work with China".

"These practices", Trump said, "plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States' economy". "But from our standpoint, it has to be fair".

"But we seem to have lost that point and moved onto tariffs for the sake of coercing China, or perhaps closing the trade deficit, which is something that bothers the President", he told RN Breakfast.

"Unfortunately, China has been unwilling to change its policies involving the unfair acquisition of USA technology and intellectual property".

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The $200 billion in US tariffs go into effect in less than a week, on September 24, leaving the two sides little time to sit down.

Asked how the two sides plan to end the trade war, Geng said, "We have been stressing that talks need to happen on the basis of equality and good faith so as to resolve the issues between the two sides". Apple's China-built Watch and Airpod gizmos were due to be included in the penalized list, but were excluded in the end.

"We believe, beyond two years, these tariffs will go away", he said.

But despite their lobbying efforts, some of those products will remain on the tariff list.

Beijing responded Tuesday by announcing new tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. imports.

"For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies", Trump said in a statement on Monday.

Lobbying against the tariffs has risen sharply in Washington but Trump's policy has left candidates in competitive races for November's hard-fought midterm congressional elections in awkward positions. Some companies are looking to move out of China to dodge the tariffs, said Ted Murphy, a partner at the Baker McKenzie law firm.

Saunders predicted that some retailers will try to shift their production out of China, but he warned that quickly changing supply chains can be costly and pose a new set of challenges.

"China needs to come to the table and address the concerns that have been raised", said a senior administration official. But Beijing has other ways to retaliate. The lack of progress and collapse of that deal have made future negotiations more hard, as it's unclear who speaks for the USA administration and there's a lack of confidence that any deal will be honored.

"We appreciate the Trump Administration removing consumer connected devices, the largest tariff code CTA identified in our USTR comments".

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