Monday, 23 July, 2018

China vows to retaliate in response to latest USA tariff measures

US stock futures declined and haven assets such as the yen and Treasuries rallied after the announcement US stock futures declined and haven assets such as the yen and Treasuries rallied after the announcement
Rhonda Young | 16 June, 2018, 05:39

Washington and Beijing appeared increasingly headed towards open trade conflict after several rounds of negotiations failed to resolve U.S. complaints over Chinese industrial policies, lack of market access in China and a $US375 billion U.S. trade deficit.

The Trump administration said on Friday that the USA would impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products, provoking a direct retaliation from Beijing and escalating a what is now definitely a "trade war" between the world's two largest economies.

The administration also is targeting an additional 284 Chinese products, which it says benefit from China's aggressive industrial policies, worth $16 billion a year, but won't impose those tariffs until it collects public comment.

China has "long been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology".

The White House on Friday announced plans to slap 25 per cent tariffs on more than 1,100 Chinese products, worth $50 billion a year in imports.

John Murphy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president of worldwide affairs, said that about $75 billion of U.S. exports will be hit with retaliatory tariffs in the first week of July.

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China's Commerce Ministry answered quickly to the USA taxes on Chinese imports.

The US wants China to stop practices that allegedly encourage transfer of intellectual property - design and product ideas - to Chinese companies, such as requirements that foreign firms share ownership with local partners to access the Chinese market.

In the trade fight, Bannon said, Trump has converted three major tools that "the American elites considered off the table" - namely, the use of tariffs, the technology investigation of China and penalties on Chinese telecom giant ZTE. After a meeting in Washington, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared the trade war "on hold" and the tariffs suspended.

The new tariffs will hit more than 800 products - worth $34 billion annually, and are due to come into effect on July 6.

Trump recently hit U.S. allies including the European Union, Canada, and Mexico with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"We must take strong defensive actions to protect America's leadership in technology and innovation against the unprecedented threat posed by China", US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

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And as Trump warned of "additional tariffs" should Beijing hit back with tit-for-tat duties on American goods, China nevertheless unveiled 25 per cent duties on US$50 billion in U.S. imports.

The list of 659 USA goods was longer than a preliminary list of 106 goods published by the commerce ministry in April, although the value of products affected remained unchanged at $50 billion.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) went as far as to call for the Trump administration to push for a trade agreement with China.

The president has been under pressure from USA lawmakers over his decision to soften a penalty on Chinese telecom-equipment maker ZTE Corp.

Analysts say that repeated about-faces and turmoil among United States officials during trade talks have left Chinese officials unsure of Trump's goals or which of the several senior emissaries from Trump's Cabinet actually has the power to seal a deal.

Asked about inciting a trade war, he said, "There is no trade war". -China trade war fears and dragging down stocks markets as well as soybean prices Friday.

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