Trump's trade 'extortion' won't work, China state media says

Ivan Schwartz
August 8, 2018

China announced a $60 billion list of USA goods on Friday including coffee, honey and industrial chemicals for retaliation if Washington goes ahead with its latest tariff threat.

Last Friday, China's Finance Ministry introduced new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the U.S. worth $60 billion.

The United States and China are in an escalating trade war in which the two sides have already imposed tariffs on roughly $50 billion of each other's goods and which has raised tension between the world's two largest economies.

The move is a response to the Trump administration's recent threat to raise the proposed tariff rate on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.

Friday's threat targeting a smaller amount of US goods reflects the fact that Beijing is running out products for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the United States.

Trade tensions between the US and China have been escalating for months, driven by President Trump's aggressive rhetoric and policy positions.

Paglia said Ohio Star Forge primarily exports to countries covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement - Canada and Mexico - but could feel the indirect results of the Chinese tariffs, because some of their products are exported to China by their customers. But Bloomberg pointed out that USA stocks have yet to regain strong January performances since the escalating trade war.

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The US escalates trade friction with China and turns an worldwide trade into a "zero-sum game".

March 15: President Trump signed an executive order to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from China and several other countries. A 20 percent tariff will apply to more than 1,000 items, including chemicals and paper. Last year, China imported about $130 billion of USA goods.

They said the duties would range from 5%-25% on $60bn worth of United States products. The president's chief economic adviser also revealed there would be a "number of announcements" over the next 30 days covering trade deals with the EU.

According to China's Ministry of Commerce, the measure will come into force immediately if Washington starts to impose taxes on Chinese imports. "Obviously, the USA tariffs won't help and they are going to cause some damage", he said.

An editorial of People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, said that the US President was starring in his own "street fighter-style deceitful drama of extortion and intimidation". Still, the potential for tariffs has China's largest refiner holding back on any purchases from the United States at least through September, according to a person familiar with the situation. Beijing retaliated by imposing similar charges on the same amount of USA products. "So I think that if there were something that kept on going for a long time that they would be able to muddle through".

Chinese officials are trying to reassure markets and the local population that the USA moves would have little impact.

One of Mr Trump's top economic advisors said the USA leader has no intention of backing down.

Other reports by GizPress

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