China Includes 128 Items of USA in Tariffs Hike

Clay Curtis
March 29, 2018

The ministry is also contemplating targeting 128 American products through an imposition of a 15 percent tariff on American steel pipes, fruit and on wine imports. "It would certainly hurt the daily life of American middle-class people, and the American companies, and the financial markets".

The U.S. goods, which had an import value of $3 billion in 2017, could see a 15 percent duty, while a 25 percent tariff could be imposed on U.S. pork and recycled aluminium goods, according to the statement.

"Chinese retaliation against USA wine would put our producers at a significant disadvantage in one of the most important markets in the world at a critical time", said Bobby Koch, CEO of the Wine Institute. Nebraska Pork Producers Association Executive Director Al Juhnke says China is an important customer for USA pork and these tariffs will be costly.

Chinese imports from the US are expected to hit $172 billion this year, he pointed out. Companies worry the dispute could spiral into tit-for-tat import controls by governments worldwide that could suppress global trade.

China's Commerce Ministry said Friday Beijing was considering a tariff increase of 25 per cent on pork and aluminium scrap, mirroring Mr Trump's 25 per cent charge on steel. Trump also said he is concerned about protecting USA technology.

"China does not want a trade war with anyone", the Chinese embassy in Washington DC said in a statement Thursday. "Do not underestimate China's determination and capacity to safeguard its legitimate interests, and the price that the United States will have to pay for its arbitrary and reckless behaviour", she said.

"As the administration considers how it will address these serious issues, we encourage it to act consistent with worldwide obligations and in close collaboration with other countries".

USA crude futures were up 1.2 percent at $65.08 per barrel after losing 1.3 percent on Thursday and Brent gained 1 percent to $69.58 per barrel.

In remarks ahead of signing the memorandum about the US response to China's intellectual property violations, he completely left out the memorandum's directive to work through the WTO with our allies.

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"China has made clear its position several times that it stands firmly against such unilateral and trade protectionist practices from the US side", an official with the China's Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. It appealed for dialogue "to avoid damage to overall Chinese-U.S.co-operation".

According to the Chinese Commerce Ministry, the United States' decision to introduce restrictive trade measures against China is a "wicked precedent" which contradicts the interests of both sides and presents a clear example of unilateral protectionism.

China quickly hit back, unveiling tariffs of $3 billion on U.S. imports.

The technology dispute stems from complaints Beijing unfairly compels foreign companies to hand over technology in exchange for market access.

"The upshot is that today's (US) tariffs amount to no more than a slap on the wrist for China", Mark Williams, Chief Asia Economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note.

The US dollar, meanwhile, dropped below ¥105 for the first time since Trump was elected president in November 2016, while the greenback was also down against the euro.

Senior White House economic advisor Everett Eissenstat said the new import duties would target industrial sectors where "China has sought to acquire an advantage through the unfair acquisition or forced technology transfer from United States companies".

"We're doing things for this country that should've been done for many, many years", the president said Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Chinese premier promised at a news conference that Beijing will "open even wider" to imports and investment as part of efforts to make its economy more productive.

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