Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Trump wants to levy additional $100B in tariffs against China

China's new list of tariffs on US goods worries Minnesota farmers China Retaliates Against American Soybeans, And Ohio Feels The Pain
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The Chinese government hit back Monday at President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum by acting on a threat to put tariffs as high as 25 percent on imports of 128 American-made products, including pork and seamless steel pipes.

On Thursday Trump responded to Beijing's countermeasures by doubling down.

"It appears the Chinese are attempting to get the attention of the Trump administration by harming numerous people who voted for the president in the first place", Gary Bailey, the commission's chairman and a farmer based in St. John's, said in a statement.

The administration is moving to impose tariffs as one step in a multipart effort to counter Chinese policies that the White House argues force USA technology companies to surrender billions of dollars in intellectual property and other proprietary information to gain access to China's state-controlled economy.

Trump threatened an additional $100 billion in tit-for-tat tariffs on Beijing Thursday, in the latest step in an escalating trade dispute.

Other companies are also expected to take a hit from the new tariffs. The list will be undergoing "further review in a public notice and comment process, including a hearing", according to the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

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Dan Ivascyn, group chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co, said recent trade actions and rhetoric were an example of how "battles can turn to wars".

Trump's latest move in his bubbling trade war with China comes after he already called for $50 billion-worth of Chinese goods to be punitively taxed.

"What is important to stress is that the European Union believes that measures should always be taken within the World Trade Organisation framework, which provides numerous tools to effectively deal with trade differences", European Commission spokesman Daniel Rosario said this week. Last year, China exported $506 billion of goods to the United States while the U.S. only exported $130 billion in goods (pdf) to China.

In the meantime, a CNNMoney article reported that the USA and China are negotiating behind the scenes to ease the situation and prevent further measures from stoking the tension. So they pay 2.5; we pay 25.

Offloading just a portion of that debt could spook bond markets and send America's cost of borrowing soaring. The US argues that there was "no basis" for China's action.

Trump is "threatening to light American agriculture on fire". But foreign business people say Chinese rules limit competition and sometimes require them to help Chinese businesses improve their products. "This is the dumbest possible way to do this", said the lawmaker from the farm-belt state of Nebraska.

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