China urges U.S. to 'calm down' after latest tariff threat

Trump, who has accused China and others of exploiting the United States in global trade, has demanded that Beijing make a host of concessions to avoid the new duties, which could be imposed in the weeks after a comment period closes on September 5.

Trump asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer in June to draft a plan for a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

"Electronics-makers are preparing to shift more production to Southeast Asia as trade tensions with the U.S. make it less appealing to manufacture gadgets in China". "Second, we suggest the USA return to rationality and not act impulsively, as it will eventually hurt itself".

Mr Wang was firm that any pressure which the U.S. was trying to put on China would not work.

President Trump has instructed USA 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 U.S. concerns over "unfair trading practices" that include "forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft".

The move is being fuelled by deep frustration within the Trump administration over its unsuccessful attempts to press China to change its trade practices, including improperly obtaining American intellectual property.

Lighthizer said China's decision caused "further harm to USA workers, farmers and businesses".

The US dollar has strengthened by 5 per cent against China's yuan since the beginning of the year and has risen by around 3 per cent on a trade-weighted basis against the currencies of other major USA trading partners.

The U.S. government reported Friday that the gap between how much the United States imports from China and how much it exports reached a record level in the first six months of 2018.

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In fact, tariffs in US-EU trade-or the trade between any two economies engaged in economic cooperation-are bound to fall, as that is what free trade is all about.

Increasing the pressure on China by threatening even higher tariffs could backfire. China immediately vowed to retaliate though at the same time urged the USA to act rationally and return to talks to resolve the dispute.

Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth, and prominent U.S. business groups, while tired of what they see as China's mercantilist trade practices, have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.

Thus, keeping an eye on China's imports of major commodities in coming months will be key to working out just how quickly the trade dispute is filtering through to the real economy, and determining if the phoney trade war has become a real one.

Wang Yi said at a forum in Singapore that a USA campaign to ratchet up pressure on Beijing will not "have any effect", Reuters reported.

Beijing's earlier penalty tariffs appeared to be created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting goods such as soybeans and orange juice that are available elsewhere.

Mr. Scissor also added the strategy would only be meaningful if the U.S. administration resolves trade disputes with USA allies such as the European Union.

Other commodities also paint a mixed picture, with China's iron ore imports dropping 1.6 percent in the first six months of 2018 from the same period previous year.

Yet, current European Union investment in new projects will only help open minor markets.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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