Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

S&P: US-China Trade War to Deal Blow to Export-Driven Economies

US prepares to impose new tariffs on additional $200B worth of Chinese goods US to impose tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports
Kenny Thornton | 13 July, 2018, 13:59

"The Chinese side is shocked by the actions of the USA", a statement on the ministry's website declared.

"To protect the core interests of the nation and its people, the Chinese government will be forced to impose necessary countermeasures".

U.S. president Donald Trump has threatened higher tariffs on more than 500 billion dollars (£377 billion) of goods, or almost all of China's annual exports to the United States.

The list includes agricultural products, minerals and consumer goods such as handbags, among other items.

Shanghai markets were hardest hit overnight, with stocks there down nearly 2 per cent and the yuan weakening towards last week's 11-month lows, down 0.4 per cent to 6.66 per dollar. The retaliation to the same level would be very hard for the Chinese unless they double the rate of the tariff.

The trade war between the world's top two economies has landed at the World Trade Organization today, as the United States demanded a "reckoning" over China's membership in the body.

China's imports of US goods are so small that Beijing "cannot match fresh USA tariffs", said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report.

"It looks like the USA just took the scale of the trade frictions to another level", Li said at a forum in Beijing.

The proposed tariffs come just days after the Trump administration imposed 25 percent tariffs on more than 800 Chinese products worth about $34 billion, citing what it calls China's unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.Beijing followed suit with an equal amount of levies on USA goods.

China said it is "shocked" after the U.S. announced plans for fresh tariffs, escalating a trade war between the two countries.

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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market and engage in true market competition. "We have been very clear and detailed regarding the specific changes China should undertake", Lighthizer added.

Orrin Hatch, the Republican Senate Finance Chairman, condemned the move as "reckless" and not "targeted", while United States stock index futures fell in early Asian trading.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobbying group, said United States businesses and consumers will lose from the administration's trade battle.

On the other hand, if the Chinese bought up more Treasuries, they could make the US dollar even more expensive, and widen the trade deficit further.

The detailing overnight of US President Donald Trump's already-threatened 10 per cent tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods dampened hopes that Washington will eventually step back from the escalating row. The first round of tariffs covered Chinese products ranging from farming plows to machine tools and communications satellites.

On July 6, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection started to collect duties on $34 billion worth of goods, as outlined in a published list made available by the federal register on April 6.

"As Chinese electronics, computers and communications equipment were included in the additional list of tariffs, Korean companies are anxious their exports of intermediary goods used in those items could decrease if the tariffs are imposed", the ministry said in a release. China has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar to any further US tariffs.

"Our global trade is extremely important and we have to start off on the right track and I'm not sure we are right now", he said.

So far, tariffs imposed by the two countries are expected to have a modest impact on growth and inflation, economists estimate. -China trade dispute escalates, Beijing cut its forecast for soybean imports and the Chinese currency fell as worries about fallout from the simmering conflict grew. But according to economists, Beijing is unlikely to do so.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed Chinese officials, said Beijing was considering steps including holding up licenses for USA companies, delaying approvals of mergers involving US firms and stepping up border inspections of American goods.

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