Trump, escalating trade war, threatens tariffs on all goods from China

Sep 09, 2018, 01:06
Trump, escalating trade war, threatens tariffs on all goods from China

The deadline for public comment on the next wave of punitive taxes on $200 billion of annual imports from China expired Thursday, so Trump could impose the tariffs immediately.

Cell phones, the biggest USA import from China, have so far been spared, but would be hit if Trump activates the new $267 billion tariff list.

China's trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a new record US$31 billion in August despite a raft of USA tariffs, official data showed Saturday, adding fuel to the flames of a searing trade war. But 2018 Chinese imports through July were up almost 9 per cent over the same period of 2017, according to US Census Bureau data.

Both Intel and Apple are urging Trump administration to re-evaluate the proposed tariff list, which is now under review by the U.S. officials. By 2021, based on International Monetary Fund economic forecasts, the USA would lose about 1 percent of its annual output or about $230 billion while China would lose 0.6 percent of its $18 trillion economy that year or $110 billion.

Mr Trump has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win" and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its US$335 billion surplus with the US.

The world's largest trading nation got off to a strong start this year, but its economic outlook is being clouded by the rapidly escalating USA trade dispute and cooling domestic demand. "[It] could take place very soon depending on them-to a certain extent it depends on China".

While U.S. businesses in China do not yet appear to face widespread retaliation, some company officials have said they are bracing for blowback.

But so far China had not met the Trump administration's requests.

It has demanded that China better protect American intellectual property, including ending the practice of cyber theft.

Apple, in pushing back on the tariff proposal, said it bought more than $50 billion worth of components from US-based suppliers a year ago and that it's the largest USA corporate tax payer.

The Ministry of Finance said it will raise export rebate rates for 397 goods, ranging from lubricants to children's books, meaning that firms shipping such products overseas will pay less value-added tax. Those talks will continue to go on. The company makes a large percentage of its products in China.

But Kudlow said the US goals are clear. "We want lower (trade) barriers across the board". No surprise that U.S. CEOs are losing sleep over all the unknowns being thrown into the mix.

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