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European Union to join Trump in criticising China's role in global trade

15 July, 2018, 13:06 | Author: Sara Gill
  • Trade War Conflict

The Commerce Ministry on Wednesday gave no details, but Beijing responded to last week's US tariff hike on $34 billion of imports from China by increasing its own duties on the same amount of American goods.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative proposed 10 percent tariffs Tuesday on a list of 6,031 Chinese product lines.

Trump raised tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

The Chinese government has vowed to take "firm and forceful measures" against U.S. threats to expand tariff hikes.

"Despite the relative optimism our members feel guarded about the future", AmCham said in its statement.

The tariffs will not be imposed until after a two-month period of public comment on the proposed list, but some United States business groups and senior lawmakers were quick to criticise the move. "As in the past, the United States is willing to engage in efforts that could lead to a resolution of our concerns about China's unfair trade practices and to China opening its market to U.S. goods and services", Lighthizer said in the statement.

The US trade deficit in goods with China ballooned to a record $375.2 billion a year ago, stoking his anger.

That intensification of the trade conflict, which commentators are increasingly calling a full-scale trade war, has investors spooked about the future of the global world order and the global economy, pushing stock markets around the world deep into the red.

For now, the USTR continues to work on the process of finalizing an additional $16 billion in goods to face 25-percent tariffs to bring the total up to $50 billion. And American consumers will have to pay the high price because United States firms will have to buy them despite the high tariffs.

Trade War Conflict
Source tradingview

The list of new tariff targets from the US Trade Representative includes vacuum cleaners, furniture, and auto and bicycle parts, but US-branded smartphones and laptops were excluded.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1.2 percent, and the South Korean Kospi lost 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.3 percent.

Tariffs are a "dangerous and very blunt instrument", Harborn said.

The clock now starts ticking on a two-month period of public comment before the levies are imposed. "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a Chamber spokeswoman said, according to Reuters.

Companies are watching USA chipmaker Qualcomm Inc., which has waited for months for Chinese regulators to decide whether to allow its proposed $44 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors.

"It won't be hard for Chinese companies to find replacements for USA goods", said Bai Ming, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, quoted by the newspaper Global Times.

The United States buys about 20 percent of China's overall exports, but trade has shrunk as a share of the Chinese economy.

"With no early end appearing to be in sight for the escalating "tit-for-tat" world trade frictions and rising trade protectionism, global trade wars have become one of the key downside risks to world growth and trade in the second half of 2018 and for 2019", Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific Chief Economist at IHS Markit said in a note. During a visit to Germany this week by Chinese Premier Keqiang Li, the countries signed business deals worth more than $23 billion.


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