Friday, 19 October, 2018

United States to impose extra tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks. Daniel Acker Bloomberg
Steven Clarke | 11 July, 2018, 22:44

China has warned that the United States threatens to wreck the global economy after Washington escalated the trade war on Tuesday night.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said this week its member companies are rearranging their trade shipments to ensure any bound for the United States don't pass through China.

"China is shocked at the U.S. action", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement on its website Wednesday. "To protect the core interests of the nation and its people, the Chinese government will be forced to impose necessary countermeasures".

Overnight, Donald Trump began the process of slapping 10% tariffs on a further $200bn of imports from China, on top of the $34bn (soon to be $50bn) imposed last week.

Items on the proposed list of goods include consumer products such as clothing, television components and refrigerators as well as other high-tech items, but it omitted some high-profile products like mobile phones.

Stocks in China and the rest of Asia tumbled overnight, spreading to Europe after markets opened.

These new suggested levies won't take effect until after a public comment period which runs through August.

Fresh US tariffs would also come at a time when the Trump administration is seeking Beijing's help reining in North Korea's nuclear-weapons programme.

China's commerce ministry said on Wednesday it was "shocked" and would complain to the World Trade Organisation, but did not immediately say how it would retaliate.

"The US closed the door for negotiations", Mr Li said.

Former UCLA basketball player Billy Knight found dead on Phoenix roadway
Knight wasn't picked in the 2002 National Basketball Association draft and played professionally in France and Japan. Yesterday evening, UCLA family, myself and others in basketball community were trying to reach out to Billy Knight.

Although it was not a direct reaction to the new move from Trump's administration, the official English-language newspaper China Daily said in an editorial that Beijing had to stand up to Washington.

China's Commerce Ministry has said that Beijing has no choice but to fight back after the USA "launched the largest trade war in economic history", accusing Washington of violating the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Soybeans, crushed to make cooking oil and the protein-rich animal feed ingredient soymeal, were the biggest US agriculture export to China a year ago at a value of US$12.3 billion, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Senate Finance Committee chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) also took aim at the announced list, saying it "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

America's trade war with China is back on.

The initial USA tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products in an attempt to limit the impact on American consumers. The first round of tariffs covered Chinese products ranging from farming plows to machine tools and communications satellites. Chinese officials are expected to retaliate in other ways, hitting US firms in China with unplanned inspections, delays in approving financial transactions and other administrative headaches. Each side is mulling tariffs on a further $16 billion in goods that would bring the totals to $50 billion.

China 'cannot match fresh USA tariffs, ' Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank said.

"These companies have the most going on with China tariffs, so they would be the ones that get hurt the most", said Mark Esposito, chief executive officer of Esposito Securities in Dallas.

The move comes just days after the two countries imposed tit-for-tat tariffs of $34bn on each other's goods. A full-blown global trade war would shave 0.4 percentage point off world growth, according to Bloomberg Economics.

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