Thursday, 20 September, 2018

United States businesses to lobby against Trump's tariffs

President Donald Trump holds an Oval Office meeting at the White House on Sept. 11 2018. LEAH MILLIS  Reuters President Donald Trump holds an Oval Office meeting at the White House on Sept. 11 2018. LEAH MILLIS Reuters
Laurie Berry | 15 September, 2018, 03:25

A public comment period also ended last week for the $200 billion tariff list, which would hit various internet technology products and other electronics, printed circuit boards and consumer goods ranging from handbags to bicycles and furniture.

Officials are reportedly still working on the final list of products.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that in addition to preparing tariffs on the further $200 billion worth of goods, he had tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of goods ready "on short notice if I want".

The United States bought $505 billion in goods from China previous year, and Trump has already moved to impose tariffs on $50 billion of those goods as a way to try to force concessions from the Chinese government.

Stocks in Europe rose earlier as prospects for U.S. US President Donald Trump has warned he is willing to slap tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth US$500 billion, saying on Tuesday that his administration has "taken a very tough stand on China, I would say, to put it mildly".

AmCham's survey results come a day after more than 60 USA industry groups launched a coalition called Americans For Free Trade, which aims to halt the White House's proposed tariffs.

Chamber president Alan Beebe said the poll would provide officials in Washington and Beijing with facts on how the tariffs are playing out.

The current world trade system is not flawless and China supports reforms to it, including to the World Trade Organisation, to make it fairer and more effective, Beijing's top diplomat said.

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"We share the concerns of the United States regarding China's trade and investment practices, but continuing along the path of tariff escalation is extremely risky", warned Harborn.

Both countries are set to return to the table with the threat of new U.S. tariffs looming. "The US administration will be hurting the companies it should be helping".

The Trump administration has invited Chinese officials to restart trade talks, the White House's top economic adviser said on Wednesday, as Washington prepares to further escalate the U.S. They said almost one-third are thinking about canceling or postponing investment decisions.

Half the respondents reported they had endured more inspections, delayed customs clearance and other forms of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

"The Chinese side believes that the escalation of the trade conflict is not in the interest of either party", commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters at a regular news briefing.

The negative impact of the tariffs on US companies has been "clear and far reaching", according to the joint survey by AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai published on Thursday.

Roughly a third of firms are shifting supply chains out of China, or the USA, and an equal proportion are delaying or cancelling investment decisions, the survey showed.

Trump appeared nonchalant about whether China met with his trade representatives to make a deal.

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