Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Billions in new tariffs signal start of US-China 'trade war'

Trump has already slapped steep tariffs on steel an aluminium imports from Mexico Canada and the EU prompting a furious response from Justin Trudeau Trump has already slapped steep tariffs on steel an aluminium imports from Mexico Canada and the EU prompting a furious response from Justin Trudeau
Glenn Montgomery | 17 June, 2018, 17:48

Responding to US President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, Beijing has adopted a 25 percent tariff on 659 American products worth the same amount. "China is targeting agricultural goods, cars and energy in a bid to hit the president's supporters in farm states and the industrial Midwest".

China and United States moves to impose unilateral sanctions undermine and destabalise the WTO, he says.

"China has, for example, always been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology", Trump said in a statement announcing the move.

China responded swiftly, saying it has imposed "equal" tariffs on United States products.

Companies also are watching the fate of ZTE Corp., a Chinese maker of telecoms gear that ran afoul of US regulators after it violated restrictions on exports of American technology to Iran and North Korea.

On Friday, the U.S. announced additional tariffs of 25 per cent on Chinese imports worth approximately Dollars 50 billion.

The ministry statement gave no details.

China retaliated, saying it would impose an additional 25% tariff on 659 U.S. goods worth $50bn. "There's no trade war, they've taken so much", Trump contended in the Fox News interview.

Meantime, The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a list of 1,102 Chinese imports that will be subject to additional duties.

The initial list mostly targets Chinese goods that fall under the "Made in China 2025" initiative, or other Chinese government-backed programs aimed at advancing Chinese industry.

The two giants have been trading tariffs and threats of tariffs for weeks now. "Thus, the growth and inflation impact on the US economy will depend in large part on China's response, as well as the impact trade tensions have on global growth". If Trump does that, and China again retaliates in kind, that could mean that nearly all US goods exported to China would face new tariffs in the near future.

Trump has threatened to hit China with duties on another $50 billion of goods if it retaliates.

The tariffs were in response to complaints that China requires or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. Those include 818 products, worth $34 billion a year, remaining from a list of 1,333 the administration released in April.

In this January 30, 2018, file photo, a ship to shore crane loads two shipping containers together onto a vessel at the Georgia Ports Authority's Port of Savannah in Savannah, Ga. "Although we have to pay a certain price in coping with the trade war. such a price can be paid and is worth paying", it said. "Anti-trade policies, particularly tariffs, act like a tax on consumers and businesses by raising the cost of trade".

Gary Cohn was formerly a top economic adviser for the president.

That raises the specter of an intensifying trade war, which would hurt consumers, companies and the global economy.

The Trump administration in May also assessed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

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