Thursday, 18 October, 2018

China pledges to match tariffs on $16bn of American goods

China media praises tone outcome of Trump Xi summit US tariffs make no dent on China exports surge
Orlando Vargas | 12 August, 2018, 00:01

This comes after blowback on Wednesday, when China vowed to slap additional tariffs on USA imports - 25 percent on $16 billion dollars in goods - in retaliation to US plans of collecting the same. Market gains were, however, capped amid intensifying trade tussle between world's two biggest economies after China threatened to impose tariffs on US$16 billion-worth of USA goods in the latest tit-for-tat exchange in their trade row. Beijing retaliated by imposing the same percentage of retaliatory tariffs on 545 USA items, also worth $34 billion.

The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce". It would likely have to impose penalties on US companies doing business in China to make up the difference. This is an increase from 114 in the earlier draft China published in June. China retaliated with higher duties on a similar amount of American goods. For decades after 1949, when New China was founded, the domestic wholesale and retail proceeds were much higher than gross export earnings.

Last month, China imported only one LNG cargo from the US.

Beijing has released an additional list of $60 billion worth of United States products it would start taxing if the White House proceeds with the further escalation.

A Commerce Ministry statement labeled Trump's decision to go ahead with the latest USA tariffs "very unreasonable". This is on top of the original tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products that President Trump announced earlier. US-made condoms are among the latest items Beijing is threatening to include on its US$60 billion list of American products to be hit by tariffs.

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Even as Trump's approach to China thus far bears little fruit, administration officials say they are optimistic they will be able to announce by the end of this week agreement with Mexico on key elements of a new North American trade deal.

The two countries' trade conflict is likely to escalate into more than just a scuffle if the US administration can not marshal its "mobster mentality". "This latest development and its impact will be discussed at the MRF Summit taking place at WASTECON in Nashville on August 22-23".

While trade tensions are being ratcheting up, China's trade surplus with the USA stood at $28.1bn in July, close to the record-high in June, data released yesterday showed. They criticize Trump's tactics but share USA complaints about Chinese industrial policy and market barriers. Soon after, a list of U.S. products was issued that will suffer a 25% increase in taxation.

With a crush rate of 1.67 million mt and stocks of 8.8 million mt, China has more than five weeks' worth of soybean consumption. It could also start to cut the deficit with China over the next couple of years. Beijing already has stopped trying to match the U.S. tariffs on a dollar-for-dollar basis, threatening to hit just an additional US$60b in United States imports if the president follows through on his threat to target a further US$200b in Chinese products.

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