China says U.S. ‘disappoints’ the world with trade war

04 August, 2018, 15:32 | Author: Lora Ball
  • White House escalates China trade dispute to secure early breakthrough: John Kemp

The initial set of tariffs and reprisals led to talks between Washington and Beijing, and Trump and his administration touted a deal that they said would lead to hundreds of billions of dollars worth of additional US exports to China. At a campaign rally in Florida Tuesday night, Mr. Trump said China's response targeting US farmers has been "not nice".

Washington is preparing to also impose tariffs on an extra $16 billion of goods in coming weeks, and Trump has warned he may ultimately put them on over half a trillion dollars of goods - roughly the total amount of US imports from China past year. "Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against USA workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses", Lighthizer said in a statement.

China has appealed to Washington to stay level-headed and "correct its attitude" following a USA threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy. Beijing retaliated with matching tariffs on the same amount of United States exports to China.

Trump has imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports and another $34 billion in goods, mostly industrial equipment.

The process for enacting tariffs on the $200 billion in goods, which includes fish sticks, baseball gloves, handbags, spark plugs, yarn and hundreds of other products, is just getting started, with hearings set for later this month.

"This week, the President has directed that I consider increasing the proposed level of the additional duty from 10 percent to 25 percent", Lighthizer said in a statement.

China's new threat targeting a smaller amount of USA goods reflects the fact that Beijing is running out of products for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the United States.

The two countries have not had formal talks on the trade dispute since early June.

White House escalates China trade dispute to secure early breakthrough: John Kemp

Meanwhile, the Chinese economy is likely to feel a pinch, but that doesn't mean the country will back down, William Zarit, the chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China, tells NPR. It wants China to stop stealing USA corporate secrets, abandon plans to boost its high-tech industries at America's expense and stop subsidizing Chinese companies with cheap loans that enable them to compete unfairly.

Washington is preparing to also impose tariffs on an extra US$16 billion of goods in coming weeks, and Trump has warned he may ultimately put them on over half a trillion dollars of goods, roughly the total amount of U.S. imports from China past year.

Experience shows that President Trump does not always follow through on everything he says or tweets. "This has gone on for long enough and he's gonna do something about it".

Chinese officials said they were prepared to retaliate again with higher tariffs of their own.

"The Chinese side always believes that trade disputes must be resolved through talks and negotiations and our sincerity and efforts are there for the global community to see", he added.

Further roiling the trade debate is the falling value of the Chinese currency, which makes its exports cheaper around the world.

According to the Petersen Institute of International Economics, more than 90% of the products on the U.S. tariffs list are made up of intermediate inputs or capital equipment.

The source said the Trump administration could announce the tougher proposal as early as on Wednesday.

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