Amidst trade war, 'Made in China' flags for Trump's 2020 poll campaign

08 Juillet, 2018, 08:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Amidst trade war, 'Made in China' flags for Trump's 2020 poll campaign

President Donald Trump says he has tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in more Chinese goods ready in his pocket - if it comes to that - while China says the USA has launched the biggest trade war in history.

Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, a first step in what could become an accelerating series of tariffs. They kicked in just after midnight ET, which is noon in Beijing.

"In order to defend the core interests of the country and the interests of the people, we are forced to retaliate", the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement shortly after the tariffs took effect.

Beijing insists it's the injured party.

A statement from the Chinese Commerce Ministry denounced U.S. actions as "a violation of world trade rules" and warned that the current dispute between both countries was launching the "biggest trade war in history". It accused the United States of "typical trade bullying".

Beijing slapped additional 25 percent tariffs on 545 US imports totaling $34 billion - including automobiles and agricultural products such as soy beans and beef - as part of a retaliatory plan involving 659 items worth $50 billion.

Economists have warned that the escalating trade frictions could throttle global growth. If the USA and China cool off after a first round of tariffs, the fallout will be modest. If utilized in the emerging trade war, Beijing's ability to reverse such measures as a "concession" to Washington would also afford it unique ammunition in any negotiations. Friday's tariffs could just be the opening skirmishes in the trade war, as U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to hit $450 billion in Chinese goods, the vast majority of imports. It said they would damage the global economy unless other countries stop them. Moreover, China's currency has weakened markedly in recent weeks in a possible bid to offset US tariffs - a strategy Trump frequently called out as "currency manipulation" on the campaign trail.

US officials and business owners have warned Trump that the tariffs will be a major hit to American companies.

So what exactly is President Trump trying to accomplish here?

The tariffs are in retaliation to tariffs imposed on Chinese imports by the Trump administration.

Many caught in the initial line of fire - USA farmers absorbing tariffs on their exports to China, for instance - are fearful. "So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300", he said.

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The president believes this is the best way to close the trade deficit between the USA and China.

Losing the Chinese market would be a big deal to American farmers, with more than $900 million of the fiber going to the Asian country past year.

The clash with China comes as the Trump administration is also fighting over trade with American allies such as Canada and the European Union. USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have provoked retaliatory measures against billions of dollars of American exports. President Trump has threatened to retaliate against the Chinese retaliation.

China is expected to match the move with a 25 percent levy on U.S. goods to the same value on the same day.

"We continue to believe that solutions can be found that do not involve tariffs and a trade war that will hurt all of rural America", Armstrong said.

The U.S. and China launched the opening salvos in a burgeoning trade war yesterday in a move that already has MA businesses fearing the collateral damage.

"I don't see this ending well", she said. Though still positive, companies' confidence fell to the lowest level since August. It's the latest in a line of protectionism aimed at the USA trade deficit with China, which totaled almost $600 billion in 2017, and includes tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum as well as items like washing machines and solar panels.

The initial tariff threat was once considered by many analysts to be merely a negotiating tactic.

But reaching a deal that's palatable to both sides will be tough.

He said exports often consist of pig parts not in demand domestically, such as offal, and that China's huge population and demand for pork represents an opportunity for USA producers.

He further said that all the flags being made have "Made in China" tags on them.

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