China ‘underestimated’ Trump, a key adviser says

19 Juin, 2018, 22:26 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Markets drop over trade war fears

But just because Beijing can't retaliate reciprocally, doesn't mean it can't hit back proportionately: China can still disrupt USA supply chains by freezing activities at select ports, or decline to approve acquisitions sought by American companies. Could it be that they might end up facing tariffs, which in turn could result in more expensive iPhones?

The threat of new tariffs against China pits the world's two largest economies against each other and looks set to disrupt global supply chains for the tech and auto industries, two sectors that rely heavily on outsourced components.

In a statement issued by the White House press office on Monday, Trump said, "I have an excellent relationship with President Xi, and we will continue working together on many issues".

"Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods and accept a more balanced trade relationship with the United States", Trump said in a statement. "It is very unfortunate that instead of eliminating these unfair trading practices, China said that it intends to impose unjustified tariffs targeting USA workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

It made ground on the euro in early European trading, however, to stand 0.3 per cent higher at US$1.1556. The Dow Jones industrial average was down about 320 points, or 1.3 per cent. Shares of large US companies with significant overseas business were hit especially hard. Boeing's stock shed 4.3 percent, Caterpillar 4 percent and GE 2.2 percent.

In April, the Trump administration outlined around 1,300 products worth $50 billion that would be hit with proposed tariffs.

A paper published by Canadian think tank the CD Howe Institute suggests that Mr Trump's threats are having an effect on USA manufacturing by using "uncertainty as a new weapon in trade protection".

"Such a practice of extreme pressure and blackmailing deviates from the consensus reached by both sides on multiple occasions, and is a disappointment for the worldwide community", the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

China will protect its interests will take qualitative, quantitative measures if us publishes additional tariffs list.

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President Trump has asked officials to identify $200bn dollars-worth of Chinese goods to be subject to a 10% tariff in what is becoming an increasingly bitter trade war.

Trump said if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest USA move, "we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods".

China swiftly rebuked the threat and said it would take strong countermeasures to safeguard itself if new tariffs are indeed announced.

Pompeo on Monday described US actions as "economic diplomacy", which, when done right, strengthens national security and worldwide alliances, he added. Oxford Economics estimates that if Trump imposed the $200 billion in duties and China responded in kind, us growth could slow by 0.3 percentage point next year. A punitive duty the Trump administration applied to lumber imports from Canada has raised the price of a new home by $9,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

"Most economists have been unwilling to assume real GDP will be materially impacted by the growing array of trade disputes - primarily because $50 billion to $200 billion is a drop in the vast ocean that is the USA economy".

"Investors are anxious the United States may impose further restrictions on Chinese tech and Internet products and cause greater uncertainty for the domestic economy", Zhang Gang, Shanghai-based strategist with Central China Securities Co, told Bloomberg News.

The White House was not pleased.

"However, and unfortunately, China has determined that it will raise tariffs on Dollars 50 billion worth of United States exports". They include electric cars, whiskey and soybeans - a politically and economically vital export of America's heartland, where Trump enjoys support.

Trade-sensitive companies like Boeing Co. and Caterpillar Inc., China-exposed stocks like Acacia Communications Inc. and NXP Semiconductors, and steel producers and metals companies like Alcoa Corp. and United States Steel Corp. are among the hardest hit in NY trading, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average is down 1.9 per cent, the most since May 3.

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