Mix-messages on next round of talks on US-China trade war
Mix-messages on next round of talks on US-China trade war
Running Out of Tariff Options, China Takes Aim at American Companies
14 September, 2018, 08:55
The Trump administration has reached out to China for a new round of trade talks as it prepares to activate punitive US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Mr. Trump threatened to increase that number by another $267 billion to bring the total tariffs to an amount equal to all of China's annual exports to the U.S. The administration already imposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, slapped tariffs on aluminum (10 percent) and steel (25 percent), and raised duties on washing machines (up to 50 percent) and solar panels (up to 30 percent).
"There seem to be domestic political pressures that are working against the perception of USA companies receiving benefits" during trade disputes, Parker told the South China Morning Post. "If we meet, we meet?" "Now the two sides are in communication on relevant details".
The last talks, between mid-level USA and Chinese officials on August 22 and 23, failed to reach any agreement. "If you have a big decline in the stock market just before the election, it could swing it in the way of the Democrats". American officials also worry they might erode US industrial leadership. "But we can do so through means other than blanket tariffs".
But Beijing has come up with a non-tariff move to deal with the escalating trade battle, and it's making many American businesses' worst fear come true.
More than half of U.S. firms are already feeling Beijing's wrath from non-tariff measures like heightened regulatory scrutiny, more inspections and slower customs clearance, according to the survey. The business lobby urged Washington to reconsider its approach.
USA companies are particularly anxious about the "qualitative measures" Beijing has threatened to take as it becomes unable to respond to tariffs dollar-for-dollar - United States goods imports a year ago totalled only US$130 billion.
The chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China warned the Trump administration might be underestimating China's resolve to fight back.
It resulted, however, in Americans for decades missing out on innovations from European truck makers and paying higher prices for US pickups and sport utility vehicles, said Mark J. Perry, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute.
The negative impact of the tariffs on USA firms has been "clear and far-reaching", according to a joint survey by AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai.
Meanwhile, almost a third of companies said they were considering delaying or canceling investments, underscoring the heightened uncertainty created by the trade tensions.
The survey released Thursday by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China polled almost 200 European firms doing business in China and found 17% are delaying investment or expansion plans. It said the conflict is "causing significant disruptions to global supply chains". The US government accuses China of stealing intellectual property and forcing American companies to hand over valuable technology.
Businesses remained optimistic about near-term prospects, but worries about trade prompted some to scale back or postpone capital investment plans, according to the Fed's survey, known as the Beige Book, released Wednesday.
Another business group, the U.S. "By doing so, they can both ease the anxiety of American society and gradually collapse the will of the Chinese side", the newspaper said in an editorial on Thursday.
More than 60 per cent of USA companies polled said the US tariffs were already affecting their business operations, while a similar percentage said tariffs by China on US goods were having an effect on business.
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Sixty-four percent of companies that responded to the AmCham survey, which was conducted between August 29 and September 5, said the first round of tariffs that Trump slapped on $50 billion in Chinese imports this year have negatively affected their operations, while 63 percent said the same about the equal amount of duties Beijing imposed in retaliation.
The survey was conducted between August 29 and September 5.
The European chamber said about 5 percent of companies reported shifting production out of the United States and about 7 percent were moving out of China.
China's Commerce Ministry said both sides would want to avoid escalation.
China has tried without success to recruit Germany, France, South Korea and other governments as allies against Washington.
A US Treasury spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
One of the highest-profile casualties of the trade war was U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm's (QCOM) $44 billion acquisition of Dutch rival NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), which China killed in July by refusing to grant it regulatory approval.
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Canada's foreign minister is to be in Saskatoon on Wednesday to update her fellow caucus members on the ongoing negotiations. US and Canadian trade representatives are set to meet this week to advance NAFTA negotiations between the two countries.
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