Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Trade tariffs: Chinese media in Trump 'fools build walls' jibe

CHINA-US-TRUMP-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY China will impose similar tariffs as Trump seeks to protect technological IP
Nellie Chapman | 17 June, 2018, 16:56

"It is deeply regrettable that in disregard of the consensus between the two sides, the US has demonstrated flip-flops and ignited a trade war", said Lu Kang, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to the official Xinhua news agency. But a recent study published by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association predicted a $2 billion to $3 billion annual hit to USA economic welfare if the Chinese retaliate to new US tariffs with a 25 percent tariff on US soybeans.

The U.S. imported $506 billion of goods from China past year and exported about $130 billion, leaving a 2017 deficit of $376 billion, according to government figures.

"U.S. -China trade tensions will be long-lasting", Yifan Hu, regional chief investment officer and chief China economist at UBS Wealth Management, told a briefing in Beijing. Caterpillar Inc, another big exporter to China, ended 2 percent lower.

The official also said the USA statement, which said Washington would continue to impose additional tariffs if China takes retaliatory measures, has come to China's notice and it reserves the rights to take corresponding measures.

The US imported $505 billion of goods from China a year ago and exported about $130 billion, leaving a 2017 deficit of $376 billion, according to government figures.

The China trade offensive is only one side of Trump's multi-front battle with all major USA economic partners.

President Trump is enacting a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods "that contain industrially significant technologies", after months of exchanging threats amid concerns over a potential trade war.

Aircraft featured on the April list but were not on the revised list.

The tariffs will still target autos, including those imported by General Motors Co and Volvo, owned by China's Geely Automobile Holdings, and electric cars.

Tariffs on these products will go into effect after a public comment period.

Experts panned Trump's strategy of using tariffs to attempt to curb China's manufacturing rise. More on that soon.

The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, which represents vehicle parts makers, called the tariffs "taxes that hurt United States companies, put jobs at risk, and negatively impact consumers". In a joint news conference Thursday evening in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China and the United States have two options before them: one is "cooperation" and a "win-win" scenario and the other is "lose-lose".

"Although this trade action is often referred to in shorthand as imposing 'tariffs on China, ' it is in reality a policy of 'taxes on Americans, '" points out Bryan Riley, president of the National Taxpayers Union.

China in April already put punitive duties on 128 USA goods, including pork, wine and certain pipes in response to global United States tariffs on steel and aluminium imposed by Trump the month before.

Trump outraged Canadian, Mexican and European leaders last month by imposing punishing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum to protect United States producers from allegedly unfair competition. Another round of trade talks took place in Beijing earlier this month but failed to yield any breakthroughs. The US says it wants to stop the transfer of its products and designs over to Chinese companies.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, second from left, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, fourth right, attend a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Sunday, June 3, 2018.

"The Chinese side firmly opposes that", it said.

Although shares of some tariff-sensitive companies fell on Wall Street, the stock market overall fell only modestly.

The tariffs cover 1,102 separate product categories, according to a list from the US Trade Representatives Office.