Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

China vows 'firm and forceful' response to United States tariffs threat

US prepares to impose new tariffs on additional $200B worth of Chinese goods US to impose tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports
Ellis Copeland | 13 July, 2018, 14:01

South Korea's trade ministry said Thursday it is preparing for fallouts from the flaring trade dispute between the United States and China as the world's two largest economies are seemingly on a collision course that could have global repercussions. Chinese tariffs have already impacted USA exports such as soybeans.

Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based Head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics, said while he expects China to strongly condemn the U.S. moves, its policy response is likely to be limited for now.

"Resolving these challenges in an equitable manner is essential for the United States and China to have a healthy long-term commercial relationship that brings benefits to both our peoples", it said in a statement on the survey results.

The spokesperson also said the government would have to take the "necessary counter-measures".

The S&P 500 dropped 0.7 percent as energy, materials and industrials all fell more than one percent.

Officials will hold hearings in late August on the list of targeted products and an administration official said it would take about two months to finalise, at which point Mr. Trump would decide whether to go ahead with the levies.

The US complains that China uses predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance.

Some Korean exports could replace Chinese goods to be slapped with tariffs, for example. But the ongoing trade tension between the United States and China has cast a shadow over the otherwise promising growth.

What Beijing could do instead is to make life more hard for American business interests, with more aggressive action by regulators, such as safety inspections or financial investigations.

In the end, China's best option here might also be the simplest: Just try to outlast Trump.

That prompted fears it might go beyond matching Washington's duty increases by disrupting operations for U.S. companies in China. If it sold enough, that could drive up the cost of borrowing in the U.S., but it would also inflict losses on China, by forcing down the value of those bonds.

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Investors had been taking the trade war in stride but Tuesday's announcement appeared to dent that optimism.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 1.7% in morning trade.

"The government and the industry should step up a joint response because there is a possibility of the US-China trade dispute dragging on for some time", Kang Sung-cheon, the deputy minister for trade, said in a meeting with senior officials of the promotion agencies and industry associations.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed Chinese officials, said Beijing was considering steps including holding up licenses for USA companies, delaying approvals of mergers involving US firms and stepping up border inspections of American goods.

Financial markets could take a harder fall if China retaliates to the latest volley of US tariffs, as Beijing has vowed, according to research firm Capital Economics.

The proposed tariffs come just days after the Trump administration imposed 25 percent tariffs on more than 800 Chinese products worth about $34 billion, citing what it calls China's unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.Beijing followed suit with an equal amount of levies on us goods.

"We will remain vigilant in defending the ability of our workers and businesses to compete on a fair and reciprocal basis", he said.

Trump has said continuously that China has taken advantage of the U.S. economy, and he has vowed to hit almost all the country's products with tariffs, as much as $450bn. Rogers says that, "Before January 2017 all the imports came from China, including Hong Kong".

The move made good on the president's threat to respond to China's retaliation for the initial US tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods, which went into effect on Friday.

In a statement, he also announced that the USTR will proceed with a transparent and comprehensive public notice and comment process prior to the imposition of final tariffs.

"They can't figure out what the endgame is".

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