US tariffs take effect; China announces retaliation

06 Juillet, 2018, 21:12 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng listens to a reporter's question at the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing

The Trump administration initiated the dispute in April, announcing the tariffs and accusing China of using "unfair" tactics to build a large trade surplus with the USA and expropriating American technology. -China economic relationship will negatively impact their operations in China, " he said.

China has said it will not "fire the first shot" in a trade war with the United States, but its customs agency made clear on Thursday that Chinese tariffs on American goods would take effect immediately after US duties on Chinese goods are put in place.

If you're Chinese, it's obvious: U.S. tariffs are "typical trade bullying", according to the Ministry of Commerce here in Beijing. It gave no immediate details of possible retaliation but Beijing earlier released a target list of American goods for duty increases including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. US soybean farmers have been particularly concerned, and the price of soybeans has plunged 17 per cent over the past month on tariff fears.

Global stock markets managed small gains Friday, overcoming earlier wobbles prompted by China and the United States firing opening salvos in a trade war that pits the world's two biggest economies against each other.

China accused Trump of using tariffs as "typical trade bullying".

Companies worry the spiraling dispute could chill global economic growth, but Asian financial markets took Friday's developments in stride. Beijing has announced reforms this year including ending limits on foreign ownership in its auto industry, but none directly addresses complaints that are fueling its conflict with Washington.

Hours after Washington introduced 25 percent trade tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, Beijing retaliated with mirror measures against American imports.

After weeks of apparently fruitless negotiations, the United States imposed tariffs on approximately $34 billion of Chinese products, sparking an immediate response from Beijing, which said it would hit back but did not provide details.

Trump has threatened to progressively ratchet up USA penalties to a total of $450 billion in goods - which would represent the lion´s share of all of China´s exports to the United States.

Chinese officials reject accusations they steal or force foreign companies to hand over technology.

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China was set to hit back with taxes on an equal amount of USA products, including soybeans, lobsters, sport-utility vehicles and whiskey.

"They are a vital trading partner, and we need to continue to do business with China without the sting of these tariffs", Heisdorffer said.

"This is a potential concern for the outlook of corporate investment and consumption around world", said Hui. "A little fighting may be the only way the Trump administration clears its mind and allows everyone to sober up", the state-run Global Times said on Friday.

He said that would rise to a full 4 per cent of the global total if Washington, Beijing and other governments follow through on tariff threats.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China appealed to both sides to negotiate.

On Friday, Chinese state-media went ballistic as Mr. Trump fired the first salvo of a trade war.

US stocks have wobbled on trade frictions, but the S&P 500 Index remains roughly level from the start of the year.

Adding to the tensions, a Chinese court this week temporarily barred Micron Technology Inc (MU.O) from selling its main semiconductor products in the world's biggest memory chip market, citing violation of patents held by Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) (2303.TW).

Having said that, we're still optimistic for economic growth in the second half of the year given the supportive measures being implemented by the government.

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