Monday, 20 August, 2018

United States defends latest tariffs on China products

The trademarks could allow Ivanka Trump to market a lifetime's worth of products in China SEBASTIAN SCHEINER AP The trademarks could allow Ivanka Trump to market a lifetime's worth of products in China
Leonard Rios | 01 June, 2018, 21:39

In an unexpected change in tone, the United States said on Tuesday that it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $US50 billion ($A66 billion) of imports from China unless Beijing addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property.

The president has bemoaned the massive US trade deficit with China - $337 billion past year - as evidence that Beijing has been complicit in abusive trading practices and outsmarted his predecessors.

In addition to the tariffs, and to "protect our national security", the USA "will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology". The list of targeted goods will be announced by June 15 and imposed shortly after, the White House said. "The list of affected goods will be released by June 15", it added, The Hill reported.

China pressed the U.S.to give ZTE a break after the Commerce Department cut off the company from USA suppliers to punish it for allegedly lying to American officials in a sanctions case.

The Global Times, an influential tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, said the United States was suffering from a "delusion" and warned that the "trade renege could leave Washington dancing with itself".

Both sides said they had agreed not to impose new tariffs on one another as talks continued, and that China would increase purchases of American goods and services to reduce the $375 billion trade imbalance. "No matter what measures the USA will take, China is confident and capable of defending our national interests", the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.

A statement from the White House yesterday (29 May), said China has consistently taken advantage of the American economy with practices that undermine fair and reciprocal trade.

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The two countries earlier this month agreed to look at measures to reduce China's trade surplus with the U.S. in a move that appeared to reduce the risk of a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The news comes just ten days after US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested the Trump administration would "put the trade war on hold" - along with the tariffs. Over the last two weeks, it appeared that the Trump administration had retreated from their aggressive policies to contain China's economic expansion in this effort.

The White House's latest tariff action focuses on advanced technologies, including those such as robots and electric cars that China has said it wants to develop under its "Made in China 2025" program. However, the USA has yet to publish a list of target products for the $100 billion, and the White House statement makes no reference to the second potential tranche of duties.

The tariff threat could still disrupt Ross's China talks. His government watchdog group was behind one of several lawsuits against President Donald Trump for violations of the emoluments clause of the constitution, which bars officials from accepting gifts from foreign states unless they are approved by Congress.

A truce between China and the USA said to put a trade war on hold has dissolved in less than two weeks.

Last week Trump said he had reached a deal to let Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE stay in business.

The White House, and many American companies, say that China forces USA firms to turn over technology as part of joint ventures with Chinese companies to gain access to its market.

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