Friday, 19 October, 2018

Trump Raises Proposed Chinese Tariffs to 25%

Orlando Vargas | 02 August, 2018, 22:27

Wang, who is in Singapore for a foreign ministers' meeting, said the spat will not affect diplomatic cooperation with Washington on North Korea.

The Trump administration threatened to raise proposed tariffs on Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, escalating us trade tensions with Beijing.

While a poor PMI for one month doesn't necessarily signal a new trend, it does highlight the risk that the trade dispute is starting to hit economic growth.

Two Trump administration officials told reporters on a conference call that the USA president remains open to communications with Beijing and that through informal conversations the two countries are discussing whether a "fruitful negotiation" is possible.

China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday the country was ready to retaliate. The U.S. exports goods to China amounting to $130 bln, so it is unlikely that it will be able to respond with a proportionate expansion.

"Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against USA workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated at a regular news briefing that the US' efforts at "blackmail" would fail.

"The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is meant to provide the Administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens", Lighthizer said.

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A further escalation of the dispute would be a threat to world trade as a whole.

It would represent a ramping up of pressure over Washington's trade standoff with Beijing.

The outlines of the deal are still sketchy, but they call for the Europeans to buy more American petroleum, soybeans and manufactured goods and for Trump to reduce his vehicle and steel tariffs.

"The United States' method of adding pressure will not, I'm afraid, have any effect", he told reporters on the sidelines of a regional forum.

"On June 18, the president directed me to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent, in response to China's decision to cause further harm to US workers, farmers, and businesses by imposing retaliatory duties on USA goods", Lighthizer said.

China and the USA have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

The USTR said it will extend a public comment period for the $200 billion list to September 5 from August 30 due to the possible tariff rate rise.

That fell apart shortly after it was announced by US officials and amid acrimony in the negotiating team sent to Beijing due to disagreements over the concessions that would be made to China.

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