Trade dispute between Trump, China grows as markets tumble

10 April, 2018, 20:31 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • US-China trade war fears escalate as threats ramp up

A truck transports a shipping container at the cargo terminal port in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province.

President Trump said he still had a cozy relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping - even as he's accused the nation of stealing billions in US intellectual property. Mr Trump said that the trade dispute with China may hurt markets in the short term, but that United States will emerge stronger from it.

"President Xi and I will always be friends", Trump tweeted.

"China's illicit trade practices - ignored for years by Washington - have destroyed thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs", Trump said in a statement announcing the decision. "Great future for both countries!"

Trump hasn't explained why, amid a week of economic saber-rattling between the two countries that shook global markets, he feels confident a deal can be made.

The president made fixing the trade imbalance with China a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, where he frequently used incendiary language to describe how Beijing would "rape" the U.S. economically.

China's media, which is strictly controlled by the government, has come out in defence of the country, painting it as a victim of a too aggressive United States bent on taking illegitimate unilateral action. "I encourage the administration to sit down and find a solution to this tariff war with China that protects the US' agricultural economy, promotes fair and free trade, and protects our intellectual property", he said.

Trump increased levies on Chinese imports last week over allegations China has been ripping off USA technology for its own gains. The U.S. sold about $130 billion in goods to China in 2017 and faces a potentially devastating hit to its market there if China responds in kind.

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On Wednesday, China imposed US$3 billion worth of tariffs on U.S. fruits, nuts, wine and pork, just hours after the Trump administration proposed duties on 1,300 Chinese industrial, technology, transport and medical products. Beijing also declared that the current rhetoric made negotiations impossible, even as the White House suggested that the tariff talk was a way to spur China to the bargaining table.

"And those tariffs will be imposed, and then investment restrictions will be imposed", he said.

The new White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, has said the U.S.is "not in a trade war" and that "China is the problem".

Oxford Economics analysts estimate the threatened United States tariffs cumulatively represent 30 percent of total U.S. imports from China and, if imposed, the loss of Gross Domestic Product over 2018-2019 could reach 0.3 percent in each economy.

So far, only the tariffs on steel and aluminum have taken effect.

But Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro sent a tougher message later Sunday, claiming the West Wing is "proceeding in a measured way" as negotiations with China continue.

"Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers", Trump said, calling Beijing's reaction "unfair". Rather than waiting weeks for the U.S. tariffs to be implemented, Trump backed a plan by Robert Lighthizer, his trade representative, and was encouraged by Navarro to seek the enhanced tariffs.

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