Friday, 19 October, 2018

United States ramps up trade row with China

Financial markets Financial markets
| 15 July, 2018, 13:06

The first USA tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products, an attempt to reduce the direct impact on American consumers.

Using China's product list and the global harmonized system for identifying goods, we picked out the major U.S. products that will get slammed by the new tariff.

Companies that sell computer chips, oil, basic materials, and heavy machinery dropped after the Trump administration proposed a 10 percent tax on a wide list of imports.

It also includes consumer goods ranging from vehicle tyres, furniture, wood products, handbags and suitcases, to dog and cat food, baseball gloves, carpets, doors, bicycles, skis, golf bags, toilet paper and beauty products.

"I strongly urge President Trump and President Xi to meet soon face to face to craft a solution to establish fair and lasting trade between our two countries", Brady said in a statement. Countermeasures involve imposing high tariffs on USA exports to China which Beijing has imposed on a range of goods. Each side is planning tariffs on a further $16 billion in goods that would bring the totals to $50 billion. Many market watchers are concerned the trade war will derail the expansion.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1.2 percent, and the South Korean Kospi lost 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.3 percent.

S&P 500 and Dow futures dropped around 1 percent, pointing to a weak opening on Wall Street later on Wednesday.

In currencies, both the yen and the dollar act as safe-haven investments. That came four days after Washington added 25 percent duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing responded by increasing taxes on the same amount of American imports.


The officials said they tried to target goods that would reduce the harm to U.S. consumers.

The clock now starts ticking on a two-month period of public comment before the levies are imposed.

Stocks and commodities recovered slightly on Thursday as markets tried to consolidate from the previous session's steep losses when fears of an escalation in the U.S.

"We can not turn a blind eye to China's mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy".

Most economists say the direct effect on the US economy will likely be small. US President Donald Trump had warned then that his country may ultimately impose tariffs on more than US$500 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The impact of tariffs imposed Friday on the world's second-largest economy should be limited, according to private sector analysts.

"With this announcement, it's clear the escalating trade dispute with China will go one of two ways", he said.

On Monday, Chinese and German companies including BASF and Volkswagen signed business deals worth 20 billion euros ($23.6 billion) during a visit to Berlin by China's No. 2 leader, Premier Li Keqiang. That prompted fears Beijing, running out of imports for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the USA, might try to disrupt operations of American automakers, retailers and others that see China as a key market.

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