China responds to Trump tariffs

25 March, 2018, 00:44 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • By Canadian Press

On Thursday, the White House announced plans to introduce tariffs on US$60 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The commerce ministry warned that a 15 percent tariff on 120 goods worth nearly Dollars 1 billion - including fresh fruit, nuts, ginseng and wine - would be imposed if the United States fails to reach a negotiated agreement. It sets up yet another dramatic deadline. With Beijing's response to the tariffs aimed at intellectual-property abuses-enacted under Section 301 of the USA trade law-as yet unannounced, the relatively limited value of trade curbs may be just the first stage of its response. He added: "China is going to end up treating us fairly".

"My colleagues in the capital have been preparing those options and this response", he said.

"China does not want to fight a trade war, but it is absolutely not afraid of a trade war", the commerce ministry said.

Tokyo's main Nikkei share index was down more than 4 percent Friday, while share indexes in Shanghai and Seoul fell by more than 3 percent, following similar declines on Wall Street overnight. "China should first take measures to deal a blow to the industries in US states that helped Trump win the 2016 presidential election and those states whose political leaders are still backing him in this year's midterm election".

Trump campaigned on promises to bring down America's trade deficit, which stood at $566 billion previous year, by rewriting trade agreements and cracking down on what he called abusive commercial practices by USA trading partners.

Another concern remains how Chinese President Xi Jinping himself will respond as he consolidates power. Foreign business groups complain Chinese regulators are trying to squeeze them out of promising industries.

The stakes are high: China is America's largest trading partner. Moscow has repeatedly said Washington is hindering the project, because it wants Europe to buy American LNG instead of cheaper Russian gas.

It allows unrestricted travel by USA officials to meet with members of Taiwan's government and for Taiwanese officials to visit the US under "respectful conditions", during which they are allowed to meet with their counterparts, including those from the departments of state and defence. "They have offered concessions", said Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University economist and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. But "it's inevitable that Chinese companies develop and sell products similar to those of American companies through contract electronics manufacturers", a senior official at a Japanese manufacturer said.

Lou was speaking at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing.

Amid concerns that cheap Chinese steel will enter the USA from exempted countries, Navarro says those countries must agree to quotas on exports into the U.S. A second list of goods including wine, apples, ethanol and stainless steel pipe would be charged 15 percent.

The initial Chinese response may not be as severe as many fear but the conflict could easily escalate, said Robert Manning, an expert on US-China relations at the Atlantic Council in Washington.

This significantly lowers the potential economic impact of the tariffs - as well as the potential help it might provide to domestic steel industry here in the United States.

"China has sought to acquire USA technology by any means, licit or illicit", James Andrew Lewis, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, wrote in a blog post Thursday. A probe was launched a year ago under Section 301 of the 1974 U.S. Trade Act.

Over all, United States farmers shipped almost $20 billion of goods to China in 2017. Washington reports different figures that put the gap at a record $375.2 billion.

The Chinese Embassy in the USA, in response, said "it is a typical unilateral trade protectionist action".

"Any way you look at it, it is the largest deficit of any country in the history of our world". reported that the Chinese statement did not go into greater detail. Trade skirmishes can also hurt US exports. Then he announced the steel and aluminum tariffs, saying reliance on imported metals jeopardizes US national security.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said recently there would be no forced technology transfers. However, Chinese officials already insist companies aren't required to hand over technology, so it was unclear how policy might change.



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