China Warns Of Retaliation If US Takes More Trade Steps

Aug 04, 2018, 05:49
China Warns Of Retaliation If US Takes More Trade Steps

"We hope that those directly involved in the United States' trade policies can calm down, carefully listen to the voices of USA consumers. and hear the collective call of the worldwide community", Wang Yi, the Chinese government's top diplomat and a member of the country's state council, or cabinet, said in Singapore. While German officials lauded the talks because the U.S. agreed to hold off on further import tariffs on cars and auto parts, which favors a pillar German industry, French officials, including French President Emmanuel Macron, appeared to challenge a deal that would include importing United States agricultural products, especially USA soybean which many Europeans believe is genetically modified.

China has already felt the wrath of tariffs on its goods.

"If we're going to use tariffs, this gives us more flexibility and it's a more meaningful threat", he said.

Washington imposed 25 per cent duties on $34 billion of Chinese goods on July 6 in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

The groups, including the National Retail Federation (NRF), expressed their concerns to Lighthizer on why the proposed tariffs are the wrong approach and will harm U.S. companies, workers and consumers.

The dynamic has proved hard to change, given USA consumers' reliance on Chinese goods.

The U.S.is considering increasing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday.

The highest penalties on the new list would be imposed on honey, vegetables, mushrooms and chemicals, targeting farming and mining areas that supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

The list includes products as varied as snow blowers and 3-D printers, suggesting Chinese authorities were struggling to find enough imports that wouldn't disrupt their own economy.

Beijing's earlier round of tariffs appeared created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting soybeans, whiskey and other goods available from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers.

The first wave of 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods took effect last month, prompting immediate in-kind retaliation from China, and the next round on $16 billion could be implemented by the U.S.in the coming days or weeks. In this scenario, to which Moody's assigns a 60% probability, US gross domestic product would be reduced by about 0.1 percentage point at the peak of the trade confrontation, in mid 2019.

Chinese authorities warned earlier that if the dispute escalated, they would adopt unspecified "comprehensive measures".

Investors are becoming increasingly concerned about how the slowing Chinese economy will fare in a major trade spat with the United States. The U.S.is open to renewing formal negotiations with China, though Beijing must agree to open its markets to more competition and stop retaliating against U.S. trade measures, according to two senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity. So far, a total of $300 billion worth of imports to the USA and $100 billion in US exports are slated for higher tariffs, according to Moody's Analytics.

"China's main stock index dropped 2 percent, and in Hong Kong, an index of China's biggest listed companies, ended down slightly more than that".

"Electronics-makers are preparing to shift more production to Southeast Asia as trade tensions with the USA make it less appealing to manufacture gadgets in China".

In a sign the trade standoff is reverberating through Chinese politics, the Politburo signalled on Tuesday that policymakers will focus more on supporting economic growth amid risks from a campaign to reduce debt and the dispute with Trump.

The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap surged 7.3 per cent to $46.3 billion.

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