Saturday, 17 November, 2018

China vows retaliation for latest United States tariff threat

A Maersk container ship is guided by a tug boat in New York Harbor in New York City US. Brendan McDermid Reuters A Maersk container ship is guided by a tug boat in New York Harbor in New York City US. Brendan McDermid Reuters
Steven Clarke | 12 July, 2018, 13:44

China' s Ministry of Commerce said that the tariffs are "totally unacceptable" and it is hurting the entire world, as well as China.

China's foreign ministry said the Trump administration's actions were "typical bullying" and promised retaliatory action against the USA, according to the wire service. It's unclear what that action could include.

The United States late Tuesday announced it was starting the process to slap 10 percent tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese export goods as soon as September, escalating the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

President Donald Trump has threatened to tax as much as $US550 billion in Chinese products - an amount that exceeds America's total imports from China previous year.

Beijing has said it would hit back against Washington's escalating tariff measures, including through "qualitative measures", a threat that USA businesses in China fear could mean anything from stepped-up inspections to delays in investment approvals and even consumer boycotts.

"But China's reaction to the United States tariffs could pose a far greater threat to the index in time".

The list is subject to two months of finalization and input before possible implementation by President Donald Trump. "There is no justification for such action".

"The latest list of $200 billion of products to be subject to tariffs against China doubles down on a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm USA families and workers".

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On Wednesday, the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down about 1 percent, while the main indexes in Hong Kong and Shanghai recovered somewhat after falling more than 2 percent.

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

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a senior member of Trump's Republican Party, said the announcement "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

China has become a key trade partner for USA energy exports, and potential tariffs on US energy goods could hurt USA producers and industries. Imposing taxes on another $200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of every-day goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators.

Jack Gerard, Cal Dooley, and Edward R. Hamberger-the president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, and president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, respectively-wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Examiner published on Wednesday that the trade war is threatening the US economy and could add "hundreds of billions of dollars in potential costs for American businesses - costs that could ultimately be borne by consumers". "Tariffs threaten to boomerang on the very workers they're supposed to help, and will only further undermine the confidence manufacturers need to make investments in new equipment, facilities and people".

Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based Head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics, said while he expects China to strongly condemn the USA moves, its policy response is likely to be limited for now. Both governments have raised tariffs on US$34 billion worth of each other's goods and already said they are considering additional charges on another US$16 billion. During a visit to Germany this week by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the countries signed business deals worth more than $23 billion.

"While the trade conflict between the USA and China has had a limited impact so far, we can't rule out the possibility of a slowdown in the Chinese economy and a contraction in world trade should conflict grow and spread into the global market", Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said at a government meeting.

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