China counterpunches against US in trade war

Daniel Fowler
July 8, 2018

Steep US tariffs on Chinese goods worth tens of billions of dollars took effect at midnight on July 5, 2018, as US President Donald Trump fires the first salvo in a trade war between the world's top two economies.

Trump also said the United States is ready to target an additional $200bn in Chinese imports - and then $300bn more - if Beijing does not yield to U.S. demands and continues to retaliate. One, if Chinese steel cannot find its way into the United States, it could be dumped on other markets, triggering protective tariffs.

That could include "a wide range of products as diverse as tool sets, batteries, remote controls, flash drives and thermostats", he said, adding, "a strategy based on unilateral tariffs is the wrong approach, and it has to stop".

"The Trump administration is behaving like a gang of hoodlums with its shakedown of other countries, particularly China", said an English-language article in the China Daily.

China's commerce ministry earlier said the country has no choice but to fight back after the U.S. "launched the largest trade war in economic history." .

Harley Seyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China said that the American Chamber of Commerce in South China and the U.S. Chamber in Washington continue to believe that the move puts all the burden on American and Chinese companies and consumers.

Chinese manufacturers and US businesses operating in China have expressed concerns that the United States launching of the largest trade war in economic history could impact the global trade order and inflict losses to USA consumers as well as industry and commerce firms on both sides.

The president's tariffs, the PIIE's researchers conclude, are "a prime example of 20th century tools aimed at the knowledge-embodying trade flows of the 21st century".

China retaliated against the announcement with threats of a matching volume of tariffs on US goods. "No one will emerge as a victor from trade war, it benefits no one".

China was expected to respond dollar-for-dollar but did not immediately release details of the countermeasures, which were expected mainly to target agricultural products in a bid to hurt supporters of US President Donald Trump.

China's reciprocal tariffs took an aim at soybeans, which accounted for $14 billion of US exports into the Asian country past year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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China is targeting agriculture products and mechanical parts for the energy sector, whereas the USA is aiming its tariffs at a large number of industrial products and resources.

A commodities trader in eastern Shandong province was told by customs at a major northern port that they have slowed the clearance of goods from the United States on Beijing's list.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said no one will win by fighting a trade war.

Throughout the escalating conflict, China has sought to take the high road, positioning itself as a champion of free trade, but state media increased criticism of Mr Trump today. Trump has said he is prepared to impose tariffs on up to $550 billion in Chinese imports - a figure that exceeds the $506 billion in goods that China shipped to the US previous year.

Chinese policy analyst Yanmei Xie said the impact will be immediate and substantial for industries directly impacted by the US tariffs.

New U.S. tariffs of 25 percent went into effect at 12:01 am.

Beijing had earlier released a target list of $34bn worth of imported United States goods including autos and agricultural products also faced 25 percent tariffs.

China's commerce ministry said it had lodged a new complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"I've watched for too many years. how we always end up taking the brunt of most trade deals", he said.

"Worrying development with escalation of tariffs between USA and China". The tariffs on the European Union went into force on June 1.

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