Monday, 24 September, 2018

Trade war Round 2? U.S. threatens new tariffs on China

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks. Daniel Acker Bloomberg
Laurie Berry | 12 July, 2018, 03:26

US officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified.

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

Analysts say a full-blown trade war with China could wound the U.S.in several ways.

Last week, Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing responded immediately with matching tariffs on the same amount of United States exports to China.

China's Commerce Ministry has said that Beijing has no choice but to fight back after the U.S. "launched the largest trade war in economic history", accusing Washington of violating the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Chinese commerce ministry said that it was "shocked at the USA action" and warned that it would be forced to retaliate "to protect the core interests of the nation and its people". "China is shocked by the irrational movement of the US".

Overnight, Donald Trump began the process of slapping 10% tariffs on a further $200bn of imports from China, on top of the $34bn (soon to be $50bn) imposed last week.

Chinese officials are expected to retaliate in other ways, hitting us firms in China with unplanned inspections, delays in approving financial transactions and other administrative headaches.

The U.S. dollar strengthened on Wednesday as the market put aside trade tension fears and focused on the Labor Department's expectation-beating inflation report, which increased prospects that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates another two times this year.

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Last week, China and the USA imposed another round of tariffs on each other, and the USA said on Tuesday that it could impose tariffs on an additional US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The US said it had no choice but to move forward on the new tariffs after China failed to respond to the administration's concerns over unfair trade practices and Beijing's abuse of American intellectual property, according to two senior officials who spoke to reporters. But China only bought about $135 billion in USA goods previous year, meaning it will run out of American products to tax before it matches Trump's latest move.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch called it "reckless", adding that the tariffs were "not a targeted approach". "China has not changed its behaviour - behaviour that puts the future of the US economy at risk".

The US Chamber of Commerce has supported Trump's domestic tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, but it has been critical of Trump's aggressive tariff policies. Those nations also have retaliated.

"Given China's likelihood of retaliation, it's also billions worth of new tariffs on American exporters".

China has warned that the United States threatens to wreck the global economy after Washington escalated the trade war on Tuesday night.

Lighthizer said the initial $50 billion in US tariffs were aimed at goods that "benefit from China's industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices".

Australia's dollar, often seen as a proxy for China's economic fortunes due to Australian raw materials exported there, was 1.09 percent lower.

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