China vows to fight Trump's tariffs 'at any cost'

07 April, 2018, 01:18 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Trump considering new $100bn tariff on Chinese goods as trade feud escalates

Oil prices fell more than 1% on Friday after US President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on China, reigniting fears of a trade war between the world's two largest economies that could hurt global growth.

Beijing's message seems to be that it will respond when and how it pleases, that it is not scared by Trump.

Gao Feng, spokesperson with China's Ministry of Commerce, speaks at a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, April 6, 2018.

China has repeatedly vowed to "fight to the end".

"In light of China's unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs", he said, referring to a rarely-used trade act from the 1970s under which his administration has justified the tariffs. He said there "could be a little pain".

Some analysts including Mizuho's Jeremy Scott saw a silver lining for meat producers though as soybean supply could be stranded on the USA market.

U.S. stock futures dropped on Trump's latest trade directive to the U.S. Trade Representative. China has said it will respond proportionately, and has so far proposed duties on $50bn in United States goods, including aircraft and soybeans. The list of products hit by trade tensions between the United States and China increases nearly daily.

On March 8, Trump signed an order to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium, citing national security concerns.

Oil prices tumbled, with USA crude falling about 2 percent.as China is a large importer of US crude oil.

Among the low points: The US national security strategy in December naming China, along with Russian Federation, as threatening American interests; the US increasing naval operations in the South China Sea; and legislation signed by Mr Trump last month calling for Cabinet-level official visits to Taiwan, which is regarded by Beijing as part of China.

"Over 40 percent of Chinese exports to the United States came from USA companies' business operations in China". Reactions are most furious in Europe where Trump's announcement triggers a sharp backlash, including threats of retaliation. Both sides are puffing up their chests, but both sides know they have much to lose.


Chinese state-run media Global Times said in an editorial last month that subsidies from the US government have given American soybean farmers an unfair competitive advantage in selling to China.

Earlier this month, China announced tariffs on US$3 billion of U.S. goods such as pork and wine in retaliation for the steel and aluminium tariffs imposed last month by Trump.

Bown said the ultimate goal is to put pressure on multiple Republicans in the hopes that some of them will be able to influence Trump.

Trump's proposal intensified what was already shaping up to be the biggest trade battle since World War II.

Boeing Co., General Electric Co. and United Technologies Corp., whose substantial Chinese aerospace businesses have so far been largely spared, could also be targeted.

In the short term, Trump's latest salvo gives Beijing space to cast itself as the victim, a rational actor caught in the crosshairs of an irrational and impetuous president. The US semiconductor sector relies on China for about a quarter of its revenue.

Other firms could be damaged by local action that barely touches on formal goods trade.

Trump struck a defiant tone during a speech in West Virginia yesterday, saying it was time to stop China from "taking advantage" of America.

"It shows he wants to make explosive statements to let off steam", the paper wrote. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., responded to Trump's move using similar language.

"Hopefully the President is just blowing off steam again but, if he's even half-serious, this is nuts", Sasse said in a statement.

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