Trump's trade agenda runs into reality of global geopolitics
Trump's trade agenda runs into reality of global geopolitics
Trump Moves Ahead With Tariffs and Other Trade Sanctions Against China
31 May, 2018, 22:21
A day after the United States announced 25 per cent tariff on Dollars 50 billion of Chinese tech goods, China on Wednesday said that it did not want a trade war and remained undeterred.
Mr. Trump has bemoaned the massive US trade deficit with China - $337 billion past year - as evidence that Beijing has been complicit in abusive trading practices.
When Trump first directed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to levy tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports in March, following a months-long investigation into intellectual property theft, the move was hailed as a victory for trade hawks in the Trump administration.
Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping past year. Amid that revelation, Trump swooped in to the rescue, on May 15, seeking to spare ZTE from its zombie state as part of the ongoing negotiations with China over trade.
China's government accused the Trump administration of hurting its credibility by acting erratically on trade and vowed Wednesday to fight back if Washington goes ahead with a threatened tariff hike.
"Mnuchin's "trade war on hold" comments look to have been repudiated this morning, and possibly his investment stance, too", said Derek Scissors, a China analyst at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
In addition to affecting Chinese companies that export products into the USA, the tariffs could also affect multinational OEMs that have shifted their manufacturing to China to take advantage of lower labor costs.
The announcement disrupted what appeared to be a detente in the emerging trade war between China and the United States after positive talks on narrowing the deficit, Trump's key aim in negotiations with his counterpart Xi Jinping, just days beforehand.
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"From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal", said Mr Trump in a statement released with the fact-sheet. A team of USA officials was scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss the broad outline of those talks, but if the two sides failed to reach agreement on what would be discussed, the trip - led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross - could be canceled, the Wall Street Journal reported.
After Beijing promised to retaliate in kind to any duties, the president raised the ante to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods.
The exchange of tough messages has made it more unlikely that the two sides will reach a compromise on their trade disputes at scheduled talks this weekend - if they are happening at all.
China here on Wednesday urged the USA side to keep its promise on bilateral trade issues, and act in accordance with the spirit of recent joint statement. The proposed investment restrictions will be published by June 30 and take effect at a later date.
That deal was separate from the U.S. investigation into China's alleged theft of intellectual property.
Donald Trump is gearing up for a trade war with China. However, the big risk is that Beijing won't have any confidence in Ross to make a deal that Trump will accept. Ross will have less than two weeks to solve the knotty issue of trade before the tariffs get officially imposed, so there's not much room for error.
In the same statement on Tuesday, the White House said that the US will "continue to pursue litigation at the World Trade Organization" over allegations that China steals USA intellectual property.
Beyond their Americana associations, those choices-if they were to be enacted-target important political leaders in the U.S. Dow Jones components Boeing (BA) and Caterpillar (CAT), heavy steel users vulnerable in a trade war, fell more than 1%.
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