Monday, 24 September, 2018

Trade Wars: Trump loads first volley against China

The European Union Mexico and Canada have all the hit U.S. with billions in retaliatory tariffs The European Union Mexico and Canada have all the hit U.S. with billions in retaliatory tariffs
| 06 July, 2018, 00:43

President Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese products are set to officially kick off, escalating the growing trade war between the USA and China.

"China will not bow in the face of threats and blackmail, nor will it be shaken in its resolve to defend global free trade", said ministry spokesman Gao Feng at a press conference.

"As China is an important supporter and participant of globalization and global supply chains, many of [China's] exports are produced by non-Chinese companies", Gao noted.

But equally likely to be affected from the fallout of a full blown trade war are the economies of a number of countries that are tightly integrated into the global value chain - which companies increasingly use to fragment production of their goods.

Trump initially threatened to hit China with 25 per cent tariffs on a list of goods worth US$50 billion annually, over what Washington says is the rampant theft of United States technical know-how.

China rejected "threats and blackmail" ahead of a threatened USA tariff hike, striking a defiant stance Thursday in a dispute companies worry could flare into a full-blown trade war and chill the global economy.

As President Donald Trump levies tariffs and threats against China for "stealing American jobs", a Chinese factory says it's been hired to manufacture flags for Trump's 2020 campaign, according to a Tuesday episode of NPR's "Indicator" podcast.

If things escalate, then the hit will be bigger, cutting as much as half a percentage point from growth.

The US Trade Representative's statement from June 15 said that Customs and Border Protection would begin collecting their additional duties from July 6.


Forecasters say a full-blown conflict could knock up to 0.5 per cent off global economic growth through 2020 if Washington and Beijing impose tariff hikes on $250 billion of each other's goods.

"The tail risk of a Sino-US trade war is getting fatter", said Chi Lo, greater China senior economist at BNP Paribas Asset Management in Hong Kong.

China cannot match Trump on tariffs - it imported $130 billion in goods from the United States a year ago, compared with America's $505 billion in purchases from China - but it can apply other forms of pressure, analysts say.

The U.S. also has irked some of its closest allies by hiking import duties on steel, aluminum and autos from Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico.

"I strongly urge the Chinese government to fully estimate the negative impact of the trade war on the Chinese economy and adopt practical and pragmatic measures to avoid or mitigate a trade war", Yu Zhi, a professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, said in an interview.

China's yuan rose sharply against the dollar on Wednesday, a day after the central bank assured markets it would keep the currency stable amid growing worries about trade friction, although stocks fell.

The industry source said China had been unable to address the Trump administration's concerns about Chinese trade policies in at least five key areas, including forced technology transfers, Chinese industrial overcapacity, government subsidies, SOE reform, and Beijing's restrictions in the cloud computing industry.

Those measures appear to be aimed at the United States' heartland, which helped lift Trump into the White House.

Trump has threatened other measures created to limit China's ability to access the US.

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