Monday, 16 July, 2018

China vows retaliation over USA tariffs

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks. Daniel Acker Bloomberg
Lisa Bryan | 14 July, 2018, 08:36

South Korea's trade ministry said in a statement that the trade war could be "prolonged and spread", adding that it would prepare responses and scenarios to cope with the economic impact of the trade row.

The United States, meanwhile, has lodged 22 WTO complaints against China, accusing the Asian nation of a range of illegal trade practices, including propping up its manufacturing and agricultural sectors with subsidies and effectively stealing the trade secrets of foreign firms.

National Retail Federation senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said the move "doubles down on a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm US families and workers".

He spoke Wednesday at China's turn for a regular WTO review of countries' trade policies. "And the retaliation that will follow will destroy thousands of U.S.jobs and hurt farmers, local businesses and entire communities".

The Chinese government has vowed to take "firm and forceful measures" against US threats to expand tariff hikes.

President Trump escalated his trade war with China Tuesday, identifying an additional $200 billion in Chinese products that he intends to hit with import tariffs.

China imported USA goods worth $130 billion a year ago and Friday's tariff hike hit $34 billion of that, with another $16 billion cited for a possible increase.

China's Ministry of Commerce said last week it would encourage exporters to develop new export markets, and would also use funds collected from tariffs to ease the impact from US trade actions on companies.

China is shocked by what the United States did... the Chinese government will, as always, be forced to take necessary countermeasures.


A possible second round of tariff hikes announced Tuesday by the U.S. Trade Representative targets a $200 billion list of Chinese goods.

But China has rebuffed USA complaints and denied any harm was done to US companies, and instead retaliated "without any global legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said.

China immediately retaliated with duties on the same value of USA goods, including soybeans and cars. Each side is mulling tariffs on a further $16 billion in goods that would bring the totals to $50 billion.

Mr Trump has been considering tariffs against China since his officials concluded in March that Beijing violates USA intellectual-property rights, such as by forcing American firms to hand over technology.

Grassley said the Trump administration tariff fight has "a very detrimental effect on current markets" and that the impact is rippling through other industries in his state beyond agriculture. A full-blown global trade war would shave 0.4 percentage point off world growth, according to Bloomberg Economics.

"Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch in a statement.

The US complains that China uses predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance.

"All in all, the trade impact of the first round of the tariff should have a very limited impact on China's exports to the USA, with the maximum loss of $5 billion", Alicia Garcia Herrero, Chief Economist at Natixis Asia Research, wrote in a recent note.

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