Monday, 19 November, 2018

China vows to 'fight back' after United States threaten $200bn tariffs on goods

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A possible second round of tariff hikes announced Tuesday by the U.S. Trade Representative targets a $200 billion list of Chinese goods.

President Donald Trump has threatened to tax as much as $US550 billion in Chinese products - an amount that exceeds America's total imports from China previous year.

The list is subject to a two-month public comment period before taking effect.

Stocks began to be traded lower today as a trade war between the USA and the other major economies became a reality after President Donald Trump unveiled new tariffs on Chinese goods. "At the same time, China will report the US' unilateral behaviour to the World Trade Organization", reports China News.

The US Chamber of Commerce, which has supported Trump's tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, also criticised the administration's move.

At 11.30 pm IST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 141.78 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 24,777.88, while the S&P 500 was down 11.70 points, or 0.42 per cent, at 2,782.14.

By Mark Burton and Lucca de PaoliThe U.S. election of Donald Trump lit a fire under metals markets in 2016 as investors took a liking to his pro-business agenda.

In its policy agenda released in January, the USA trade office said the WTO needed to change its "self-declared" policy for developing nations to stop major economies like China and India from getting the preferential treatment that should be reserved for the world's poorest nations.

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"Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise", he said.

"It looks like the United States just took the scale of the trade frictions to another level", Li said at a forum in Beijing.

Beijing has said it would hit back against Washington's escalating tariff measures, including through "qualitative measures", a threat that US businesses in China fear could mean anything from stepped-up inspections to delays in investment approvals and even consumer boycotts.

China bought $130 billion of US goods a year ago.

"American families are the ones being punished".

"Judging from (China's) economic fundamentals and corporate earnings expectations, which are under pressure amid the trade war with the United States, the stock market is yet to reach a bottom", said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities. That prompted fears Beijing, running out of imports for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the US, might try to disrupt operations of American automakers, retailers and others that see China as a key market.

"In part because they have only limited ammunition and in part because it's still early in the process on the USA side", Kuijs said.

"This is an appropriate response under the authority of Section 301 to obtain the elimination of China's harmful industrial policies", Lighthizer added.

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