May 26, 2019

China says it will retaliate if tariffs are raised by Trump

16 May 2019, 07:28 | Hattie Nash

Trump raises tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting Chinese warning

Source Yahoo Finance

The American public recoiled - and the U.S. government imposed sanctions - after the People's Liberation Army slaughtered hundreds of civilians in the streets of Beijing in June 1989, crushing the Tiananmen Square protests.

While most of the goods hit with the 25 percent tariff are industrial or component parts to products made in the USA, a number of consumer goods are also affected, including backpacks, baseball caps, bicycles and luggage.

The US is pressing China to change its policies on protections for intellectual property, massive subsidies for state-owned firms, and reduce the yawning trade deficit. "The foundations of goodwill that took decades to build are rapidly breaking down". "Current trends portend steadily worsening relations over the long haul".

"In a trade war, there are never any winners".

US President Donald Trump has ordered the US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer to start the process of raising tariffs of all remaining imports from China valued at $300 billion.

Trump has also threatened to impose additional tariffs on another $325bn of Chinese goods, covering nearly everything China exports to the US. Trump had delayed the tariffs as negotiations between Washington and Beijing were progressing.

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The message from the White House was that backsliding by Beijing over previously agreed liberalising trade reforms meant another $300bn of Chinese imports could soon be added to the list, which would effectively cover all imports to the United States from the world's second largest economy. In the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in western China, it has detained up to 2 million minority Muslims and forced them to undergo reeducation. Trump's tweets didn't provide details on which government agency might be involved in purchases from farmers or aid.

"If we bought 15 Billion Dollars of Agriculture from our Farmers, far more than China buys now, we would have more than 85 Billion Dollars left over for new Infrastructure, Healthcare, or anything else".

That is not a view of history shared by many economic historians. Economists in China estimate a similar impact.

Newly confident, China began to expand its ambitions.

Trump has raised import duties about $250 billion of goods. "I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent" with existing trade laws, Trump said.

"China's [economic] growth is slowing down anyway, whether there is a trade war or not".

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But abandoning their grander economic vision is another matter. But U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the talks were "constructive", leaving the possibility of a deal to be done. Later, the Chinese Premier Liu He will be going to Washington to end the trade deal talks, which the world is waiting for expectantly.

However, it said China "is willing to take necessary measures to improve those balances between the two countries".

"For the Chinese, the bottom line is, they can accept no effective limitation on their race to the technological summit", Nathan said.

"They took many, many parts of that deal and they renegotiated".

Lighthizer and Navarro are more concerned that Beijing tear up laws that force foreign companies to go into partnership with - and hand over technological knowhow to - domestic businesses when they sell goods in China. Some countries in China's position would have simply walked away while the representative in question would have made an impassioned statement about why the other side is to blame for the breakdown in talks.

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