China appeals for U.S. calm after new tariff threat

04 August, 2018, 22:56 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • US may slap China with higher tariffs Beijing vows to retaliate

Last month, Washington and Beijing imposed a first round of 25 percent tariffs on 34 billion dollars worth of each other's goods.

The duties, initially announced last month, would not be imposed until after a period of public comment. Officials in Beijing have vowed to respond with the same amount of tariffs on USA products. "The U.S. unilaterally exerting pressure on China will get the opposite of what it wants", he said.

Then there is what China says and on Thursday, Beijing urged the United States to "calm down" and return to reason after news that Trump may hike the tariffs from 10% to 25%. But they have rejected changing technology development plans they see as a path to prosperity and global influence.

Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, its current account has consistently maintained a surplus, however due to the recent trade conflict with the USA that record of performance may be preparing to take a tumble.

Talks on a new NAFTA began nearly a year ago but got bogged down over the Trump team's insistence on measures that would discourage investment in Mexico and shift auto production to the United States.

Leading indices fell across Asia and Europe this morning after President Trump ordered senior officials to more than double the administration's planned tariffs on thousands of Chinese exports.

The administration's trade moves are aimed at forcing China to end what it calls unfair trade practices, including improperly obtaining American intellectual property.

The new list includes products as varied as snow blowers and 3-D printers, suggesting Chinese authorities are struggling to find enough imports their own economy can do without.

Meanwhile, in corporate America, it appears that there is just one thing executives are talking about: tariffs.

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President Donald Trump this week ordered officials to consider imposing a 25 per cent tax on US$200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, up from an initial 10 per cent rate.

In addition, the United States claims that China is stealing intellectual property despite the practice having been tolerated since China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Slapping additional tariffs on Chinese imports - 60 percent of which are made by foreign firms, including American companies - will only raise costs for domestic U.S. consumers, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The dispute is part of broader USA complaints about global trading conditions that have prompted Trump to raise duties on steel, aluminum, washing machines or solar panels from Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.

Geng gave no indication whether the two sides were preparing to resume negotiations.

Wednesday's tariff announcement is all the more significant because it follows an agreement between President Trump and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to negotiate a resolution of trade differences between the United States and EU.

The most obvious is Trump's push to require that autos contain more content made within the NAFTA trade bloc and specifically from countries that pay high wages (that is, not Mexico) to qualify for duty-free status under the agreement.

A trade deficit happens when a country imports more than it exports.

London Metal Exchange copper futures have been trending lower since reaching their peak for this year so far in early June, closing at $6,172 a tonne on Wednesday.

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