Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Trump to propose 25-pct tariff on $200b of Chinese imports

The Trump administration had initially announced a 10 percent tariff The Trump administration had initially announced a 10 percent tariff
Lloyd Bates | 04 August, 2018, 22:58

President Trump has instructed United States trade representatives to increase the tariffs it levies on around $200 billion of Chinese exports, from 10% to 25%, citing China's failure to address United States concerns over "unfair trading practices" that include "forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft".

But the two neighbors - and other US allies and trading partners - have slapped back with tariffs of their own, often aimed at USA farmers who supported Trump in the 2016 election.

China has been quick to retaliate against most United States tariff actions, although the Ministry of Commerce is yet to respond to Wednesday's announcement. "Importers may have ordered aggressively in June ahead of tariffs imposed this month by the US and China", the port stated in a press release.

But the move drew swift condemnation from USA business lobby groups anxious that tit-for-tat tariffs would start to hamper economic growth.

Yet another reason that forced Trump's hand is that as several banks have recently pointed out, the Yuan devaluation to date has effectively offset the adverse impact to Beijing from the $34 billion in tariffs enacted on Chinese goods, mainly machinery and components (to which China retaliated with tariffs on the same amount of US exports, especially farm products).

In 2017 the United States had a $376 billion trade deficit with China, which it is keen to reduce.

Trump set his sights on China during the 2016 presidential campaign and has followed through during his presidency with a protectionist strategy that he says is aimed at strengthening US companies and boosting jobs at home.

The US imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $US34 billion of Chinese products in early July, and the review period on another $US16 billion of imports ends on Wednesday.

Donald Trump is ramping up the pressure on China.

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The fight over trade kicked off in March when Trump threatened to hit $50 billion worth of Chinese imports with a 25% tariff.

The Chinese have already proposed buying more USA goods in order to settle the dispute, only to have the White House-which wants to win a broader argument about intellectual property and subsidies-reject the proposal. "The faster we get a deal with Mexico, the faster that relieves pressure on farm country", he said.

The government will seek public comment on the idea.

- Tariff increases from 10% to 25% follow CNY currency fall.

"Each tariff escalation leads to further retaliatory action from China - ultimately inflicting even more harm on American businesses, workers, farmers, ranchers, and consumers".

Geng also said that China has "always upheld using dialogue and consultations to handle trade frictions", but that "unilateral threats and pressure will only produce the opposite of the desired result".

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned China after it announced its retaliatory tariffs, saying Beijing should not underestimate US President Donald Trump's determination to act on trade.

Beijing's earlier round of tariffs appeared created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting soybeans, whiskey and other goods available from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers.

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