China trade war escalates with new rounf of tit-for-tat tariffs

24 August, 2018, 07:41 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping

The United States has imposed import tariffs on another $16bn in Chinese goods over what Washington has called rampant theft of USA technology, even as trade negotiators were in talks to avert further confrontations.

President Trump had repeatedly expressed discontent over the USA trade deficit with China, accusing the country of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft and currency manipulation.

Meanwhile, a Reuters poll of more than 100 economists shows that majority expect economic growth to slow over the next two quarters as the boost created by last year's tax cuts fades and Americans begin to feel the costs of the tariffs. United States has imposed a steep import tariffs starting today on Dollars 16 billion of Chinese goods over what Washington has called rampant theft of American technology. "However, Washington remains nebulous in this regard, given that the U.S. authorities such as the White House, the Treasury Department and the Office of the United States Trade Representative have been at cross purposes regarding their priorities with China", it said. "They worry not so much about what's happening with the trade war, but what's going to happen in the future", he said.

China's official Xinhua news agency said Beijing's own tariffs took effect at 12:01 p.m. local time, as scheduled.

They have assumed a direct impact on China's economic growth in 2018 of 0.1 to 0.3 percentage point, and somewhat less for the United States, but the impact will be bigger next year, along with collateral damage for other countries and companies tied into China's global supply chains.

"China resolutely opposes this, and will continue to take necessary countermeasures", it said in a brief statement shortly after mid-day.

New American tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods came into force this morning, escalating President Trump's trade dispute with Beijing.

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That figure would be far more than China imports from the United States, raising concerns that Beijing could consider other types of retaliation, such as making life more hard for American firms in China or allowing its yuan currency to weaken further to support its exporters.

The US moves were "clearly suspected" of violating World Trade Organisation rules, the commerce ministry said in a statement, adding that it would file a lawsuit against them under the WTO's dispute resolution mechanism. U.S. officials worry they might erode the US' industrial leadership.

But a pessimistic Mr Trump yesterday claimed the talks would make no real progress, saying: "I don't anticipate much".

In the first round of tariff hikes, U.S. President Donald Trump imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports on July 6. US President Donald Trump is insisting that China should bring down the trade deficit by Dollars 100 billion immediately followed by USD 200 billion by improving access to more US goods ensuring intellectual property rights of the American technology.

The initial list of USA demands presented to China in May included a call for a US$200 billion reduction in America's annual goods trade deficit with China by 2020 - which stood at about US$375 billion previous year - and an end to industrial policies that the USA claims violates global trading rules.

China so far has retaliated in kind, hitting American agricultural goods and autos in July, along with new taxes on more than 300 U.S. products Thursday.

Beijing began implementing the new tariffs on Thursday, when the USA said it would begin collecting extra duties in retaliation for what it claimed were unfair Chinese trade practices.

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