Saturday, 26 May, 2018

China Trade War or Tit for Tat?

Beijing restaurant serving imported U.S. beef A man eats at a restaurant serving imported American beef at a shopping mall in Beijing
Steven Clarke | 07 April, 2018, 00:33

While much of these don't come from China, the USA trade representative's statement makes clear that Chinese dominance of the global supply chain is a concern.

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump threatened to impose duties on another $100 billion of Chinese imports.

The Trump administration this week proposed 25 percent tariffs on some 1,300 Chinese industrial and other products. Beijing responded in kind nearly immediately, announcing plans to impose duties on $50 billion in American products.

If President Trump's threat of $100 billion in additional tariffs on goods from China was supposed to send Chinese officials scrambling, it failed - at least for now.

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.

US imposes countervailing duties on imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India. Trump later defends the measures, arguing that his national security reasoning is justified because the United States needs to produce more steel and aluminum for its defense sector. The list also included petrochemicals and liquefied propane, indicating that the world's biggest oil buyer is willing to use energy as a weapon to retaliate against planned American duties on its high-tech goods.

"Any escalation in the trade war rhetoric would be more negative for China than the USA given the former's relative dependency on trade but, for now, the markets are focused on the payrolls data", said Richard Falkenhall, a senior currency strategist at SEB in Stockholm.

Investors worry that if China purchases fewer Treasuries, the US government would have to find alternative buyers.

The further tariffs were being considered "in light of China's unfair retaliation" against earlier USA trade actions.

Dumped sewage forces closure of 'cesspool' Philippines holiday island
Wastewater management is expected to be the priority, after inspections discovered businesses releasing untreated sewage into the sea.

The U.S. has a $375 billion dollar trade deficit with China.

"The announcement that the administration may issue 100 billion dollars in additional tariffs on Chinese products is irresponsible and destabilising", Dean Garfield, head of the Information Technology Industry Council, said.

Navarro's comments were the first indication that talks will take place at some of the highest levels of the USA government.

US imposes safeguard tariffs on washing machine and solar-cell imports.

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China March 14, 2018. That's real money lost for farmers, and it is entirely preventable. When ties between Beijing and Seoul chilled, Chinese tourism to South Korea plummeted and Made-in-South Korea products were shunned by consumers in China.

China retaliated the next day with a list of duties on US imports including soybeans, planes, cars, beef and chemicals.

Meanwhile, as Undercurrent News recently reported, the USA imported seafood from China worth $2.6bn in 2017. We have been warning the administration and members of Congress that this would happen since the prospect for tariffs was raised. "We represent 6 percent of the imports but account for 51 percent of the tariffs".

The Chinese Minister of Commerce responded to the new proposal with a statement on their website saying that they will be listening and observing what the USA does.

Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said earlier Thursday in an interview with Fox Business Network that negotiations were ongoing. "Nothing's happened. Nothing's been executed". The administration will hold a public hearing for USA businesses on May 15th.

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