Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

US tariffs take effect, China announces retaliation

US China US 'firing at itself' with trade measures: China
Cristina Norman | 07 July, 2018, 03:05

"Generally speaking we're not going to get caught up in the tariffs the U.S. is applying to China because we have a different export profile", said Jacobi, who is executive director of the NZ International Business Forum.

China accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-CIA chief Brennan compares Trump to Bernie Madoff Timeline: The controversies of Scott Pruitt Warren: Trump should have fired Pruitt "28 scandals ago" MORE on Friday of starting "the biggest trade war in economic history" by slapping billions of dollars' worth of tariffs on Chinese goods.

China's Ministry of Commerce on Friday accused the US of "launching the biggest trade war in economic history" in a statement (link in Chinese).

"China imposed counter-tariffs on some import products from the United States at 12:01 pm Friday immediately after new U.S. tariffs took effect, the country's customs authority said".

The United States "will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology", the White House said in a statement.

"By threatening unilateral action without having any allies and not reducing domestic discord on trade, the Trump administration has invited China to stand tough", said Scott Kennedy, director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The threat of a trade war has become a reality.

"The United States will be opening fire on the whole world and also opening fire on itself", Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters on Thursday. Chinese shares slipped further from early deals and pulled Asian markets down, while the yuan currency also weakened.

White House trade officials say the current strength of the United States economy means Washington can withstand more pain than its rivals if the battle escalates further.

"A little fighting may be the only way the Trump administration clears its mind and allows everyone to sober up", the state-run Global Times said. China has promised a swift retaliatory strike on an equal amount of US goods.

"Our commodity market and job market are relatively flexible, and our foreign-related economic sectors' ability to make flexible adjustment is more prominent, " said Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, in an interview Thursday with the Chinese financial newspaper Financial News.

The US and China imposed sweeping tariffs on one another just after midnight.

In the meantime, Beijing has stopped referring to "Made in China 2025" publicly and told media outlets to do the same. Then, companies won't be able to figure out how to get the materials they need.

Punishing US tariffs on Chinese imports took effect early Friday, July 6, marking the start of President Donald Trump's trade war with the largest US trading partner and intensifying the anxieties of global industry.

"This is not economic Armageddon".

US Customs and Border Protection officials were due to collect 25 per cent duties on a range of products including motor vehicles, computer disk drives, parts of pumps, valves and printers and many other industrial components.

The list avoids direct tariffs on consumer goods such as mobile phones and footwear. But some products, including thermostats, are lumped into intermediate and capital goods categories.

China's Commerce Ministry said it would be "forced to make a necessary counterattack".

The Trump administration plans to impose 25 percent duties on Friday on $34 billion of Chinese goods in its biggest sanctions yet over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

China is expected to retaliate as soon as the USA tariffs go into effect, imposing duties on goods worth roughly the same amount but with a greater emphasis on politically sensitive agricultural products.

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