USA companies in China say tariffs are hurting

Daniel Fowler
September 14, 2018

It was unclear whether any U.S.

Kudlow earlier told reporters outside the White House that communications with Beijing had "picked up a notch" and added he saw that as "a positive thing".

The Trump administration has invited Chinese officials to restart trade talks, the White House's top economic adviser said on Wednesday, as Washington prepares to further escalate the U.S.

So far, the United States and China have hit $50 billion worth of each others' goods with tariffs in a dispute over USA demands that China make sweeping economic policy changes, including ending joint venture and technology transfer policies, rolling back industrial subsidy programs and better protecting American intellectual property.

"There's some discussions and information that we received that the Chinese government - the top of the Chinese government wished to pursue talks", Kudlow told Fox Business Network on Wednesday.

According to a Tuesday report by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, the Chinese government has suspended issuing new licenses to American companies that want to conduct business in China.

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).

The American Chamber of Commerce in China polled more than 430 U.S. companies operating in the country, providing the first detailed look at how Donald Trump's trade fight has harmed business.

As the Trump administration readies major trade actions this month, including a potential $200 billion in new tariffs on imported Chinese goods, America's biggest trade associations - representing a wide swath of industries - have formed what they say will be a sweeping campaign against tariffs.

In a survey by two American chambers of commerce in China, almost two-thirds of U.S. firms who responded said the waves of new tariffs have harmed their business.

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Such a meeting could take place in Washington or Beijing, according to informed sources.

However, the last round of talks, between mid-level USA and Chinese officials in August, failed to reach any agreement.

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.

About 30 per cent said they were adjusting supply chains by seeking to source components and/or assembly outside the US, and about the same number were seeking to source components and/or assembly outside China.

The invitation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes amid a swelling chorus of opposition to tariffs from Western business circles.

The escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing has generated turbulence in global markets.

On Wednesday, more than 60 USA industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public.

China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against US companies operating there.

Some 63.6 percent of more than 430 companies that responded to the American chambers' survey said profits and customer demand have fallen due to the US tariffs and 62.5 percent said the same about retaliatory Chinese tariffs.

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