Trump administration ups ante in trade fight with China

Daniel Fowler
August 2, 2018

In a continued dispute of escalating trade tariffs between two of the world's major economic powers, the Trump administration has threatened to impose tariffs on a further 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods that includes bikes and bike parts from tyres, tubes, frames, forks, wheels and spokes to cables, pedals, saddles and much more, BRAIN (Bicycle Retailer and Industry News) reported earlier last month.

In July, the Trump administration introduced 25-percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion.

In his statement, Lighthizer said the option for higher tariffs on the Chinese goods was created to pressure Beijing into economic reforms, such as curtailing the theft of USA intellectual property by Chinese firms.

"We hope that those directly involved in the United States' trade policies can calm down, carefully listen to the voices of USA consumers ... and hear the collective call of the worldwide community", Wang Yi, the Chinese government's top diplomat and a member of the country's state council, or cabinet, said in Singapore.

"It remains unchanged. The blackmailing and pressure by the U.S. will never work on China if the USA take measures to further escalate the situation we will surely take countermeasures to firmly uphold our legitimate rights and interests".

"We hope that the trade policy makers in the United States will be cool-headed and listen to the voice of U.S. consumers. and also pay attention to the voice in the worldwide community", Wang said.

The administration is considering more than doubling planned tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, people familiar with the deliberations told Bloomberg.

Increasing the rates to 25 per cent could make them significantly more painful.

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In response, the White House has established a comment period on the proposed tariffs, which includes public hearings where businesses can request exemptions.

Coal is another commodity that appears to have been unaffected by trade war concerns, with both Chinese import demand and prices rising strongly. Beijing responded by imposing the same penalties on the same amount of US imports.

China's appetite for imported copper has yet to falter, however, with first-half imports of unwrought copper up 16.3 percent from a year ago, according to Chinese customs data.

"We hope that those directly involved in the United States' trade policies can calm down, carefully listen to the voices of USA consumers.and hear the collective call of the global community", Wang, a member of the country's state council, or cabinet, said in Singapore.

What's the story on tariffs on China?

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press briefing that President Trump's threats at "blackmail" would fail. Since then there have been no meaningful contacts between the two sides.

Trump and senior administration officials believe the volume of USA imports and vigorous health of the American economy give Washington an advantage in the current confrontation.

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