Trump hardens stand on China; doubles down on reciprocal tax

Pauline Gross
March 10, 2018

"If China and India are united, one plus one will become eleven instead of two", he said.

"When Harley Davidson sends a motorcycle to India, as an example, they have to pay 100 percent tax", Trump said, adding, "Now, the Prime Minister, who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day and he said we are lowering it to 50 per cent".

China, which ranks 11 among the largest sources of U.S. steel imports, cautioned yesterday that it was prepared to "make an appropriate and necessary response" should the United States impose the tariffs. Speaking at a meeting with the nation's governors at the White House, he called for fair and reciprocal trade deals and repeatedly emphasised that the USA was "getting nothing" from New Delhi's February 12 announcement, slashing customs duty on imported high-end motorcycles to 50 per cent. He said there was "no shortage of headline grabbing ideas" but they were "like the foam on the sea" that "gets attention but will soon dissipate". Were losing with China USD 500 billion a year.

"So we send our auto over there, pay 25 per cent".

Both Brussels and Beijing voiced hope that a trade war could be averted, and the European Commission raised the prospect that Trump could consider exempting the EU's 28 member states from the measures along with US neighbors Canada and Mexico.

Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the Chinese parliament session, Wang said that both countries, which almost came to war over a two-month military stand-off along their border a year ago, should replace suspicion with trust.

"Global demand remains robust and the economies of the USA and Europe are expanding, that's the biggest boost for Chinese exports", Xia Le, the chief Asia economist at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg. "So trans-shipping, frankly, is a big deal", he said. "We're in the midst of a big negotiation".

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China wants an eight-nation group it and Russian Federation have dominated for its two-decade existence to be more active in regional and global diplomacy and will push to facilitate that at the group's next summit, foreign minister Wang Yi said today. I don't know that anything is going to come of it.

Wang also emphasised what he called the key role played in China's more pro-active foreign policy by President Xi Jinping, who is likely to remain leader indefinitely after the legislature lifts presidential term limits. "If Donald Trump puts in place the measures this evening, we have a whole arsenal at our disposal with which to respond", European Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said. "A lot of respect", he said.

"So an American vehicle going to China pays 25 per cent import duty".

"The Chinese dragon and Indian elephant must not fight each other but dance with each other", he had said, adding that "if China and India are united, one plus one is not equal to two but eleven".

In the weeks ahead, the Trump administration plans to issue a report on China's intellectual property practices, which is expected to trigger further tariffs on a wider range of Chinese imports.

In worldwide affairs, however, it has been a relative lightweight, and the new emphasis announced by Wang is in keeping with a Chinese push to broaden its global footprint with mega-projects such as the trillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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