China says it will hit back at USA for ‘completely unacceptable’ tariffs

12 Juillet, 2018, 13:41 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • A Maersk container ship is guided by a tug boat in New York Harbor in New York City US. Brendan McDermid Reuters

China on Wednesday said that it would strike back against the USA after the Trump administration announced it would impose another 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports.

The goal is to bring the total amount of Chinese imports up to 40 percent of the total imported from the Asian power, since the USA products hit by Beijing's retaliation represent that share of exports, an official told reporters in a conference call.

China on Thursday said foreign firms operating in China would suffer in a trade war, urging USA companies to lobby their government to protect their interests, and said no talks to end the impasse were now under way. It's unclear what that action could include.

Last week, China and the USA imposed another round of tariffs on each other, and the USA said on Tuesday that it could impose tariffs on an additional US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The US has suggested that it may ultimately impose tariffs on $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the entire amount of US imports from China.

If China responds with tariffs on energy, this could cut sales of USA energy goods, analysts and executives told Reuters last month, when Beijing first threatened to slap tariffs on us energy.

Farmer Terry Davidson walks through his soy fields July 6, 2018, in Harvard, Illinois, the same day China imposed retaliatory tariffs aimed at the United States soybean market.

'Given China's likelihood of retaliation, it's also billions worth of new tariffs on American exporters'.

The tariffs will not be imposed until after a two-month period of public comment on the proposed list, but some USA business groups and senior lawmakers were quick to criticize the move.

South Korea's trade ministry said in a statement that the trade war could be "prolonged and spread", adding that it would prepare responses and scenarios to cope with the economic impact of the trade row.

Lighthizer said the initial $50 billion in US tariffs were aimed at goods that "benefit from China's industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices".

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On Wednesday, China's main stock index lost 1.8 per cent and Japan's market benchmark fell 1.1 percent.

President Donald Trump has threatened higher tariffs on more than US$500 billion of goods, or almost all of China's annual exports to the United States.

China 'cannot match fresh US tariffs, ' Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank said.

"Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple".

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a senior member of Trump's Republican Party, said the announcement "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach". Imposing taxes on another $200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of every-day goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators.

The heightened trade tensions pose risks to South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, as both the United States and China are the country's major trading partners.

Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based Head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics, said while he expects China to strongly condemn the US moves, its policy response is likely to be limited for now.

The Office of the US Trade Representative is seeking submissions on the latest proposed tariffs and will conduct hearings in late August, making September the earliest possible implementation date for the new import taxes.

As its dispute with Washington deepened, Beijing has been calling on other countries to support global free trade and has talked up efforts to ease investment rules.

China's government vowed Wednesday to take "firm and forceful measures" as the U.S. threatened to expand tariffs to thousands of Chinese imports like fish sticks, apples and French doors, the latest salvo in an escalating trade dispute that threatens to chill global economic growth.

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