Import now to beat tariffs on goods from China? It will cost

by Garry Watts June 18, 2018, 1:06
Import now to beat tariffs on goods from China? It will cost

U.S. President Donald Trump announced hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports on Friday as Beijing threatened to respond in kind, in a move that looks set to ignite a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

It said: "An escalating global trade dispute or widespread rises in import tariffs would have a marked negative impact on Germany's export oriented economy".

President Donald Trump announced Friday that starting next month the USA will impose a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports.

The tariffs will come in two steps, beginning with duties on 545 US products worth $34 billion that will be focused on farm goods, cars and seafood, Xinhua said.

"We will immediately introduce taxation measures of the same scale and with the same intensity", the country's commerce ministry said.

Beijing also said "all economic and trade agreements reached by previous negotiations will be nullified at the same time".

But Trump's China trade offensive is only one side of his multi-front confrontation with all major U.S. economic partners.

Beijing also has announced plans to cut import duties on autos and some consumer goods and to ease limits on foreign ownership in auto manufacturing, insurance and some other industries, though those don't directly address US complaints. Meanwhile, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said an announcement on US investment restrictions on China will follow in the next two weeks. "Given the frequent flip-flopping of the Donald Trump administration, it is still too early to conclude that a trade war will start", it said.

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"It is deeply regrettable that in disregard of the consensus between the two sides, the United States has demonstrated flip-flops and ignited a trade war", the ministry said.

"A better way to deal with China would be focusing on trade enforcement to create a level playing field for American farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers". Trump said the tariffs were "essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs".

Beijing and Washington have held three rounds of high-level talks since early last month that have yet to yield a compromise, with Trump unmoved by a Chinese offer to buy an additional US$70 billion of USA farm and energy products and other goods, people familiar with the matter have said.

On Friday, the United States announced additional tariffs of 25 percent on Chinese imports worth approximately US$50 billion. Specifically, Beijing makes US companies that want to do business in China jump through more hoops than domestic companies.

Vegetables took up 14.6 percent of China's imports from the U.S.in 2016, while fuel was 2.3 percent, and transportation products - mostly airplanes - accounted for 9.6 percent, according to the World Bank.

US growers shipped roughly $14 billion in soybeans previous year to China - their No. 1 export market, the American Soybean Association said, adding that the group is "disappointed in the Administration's decision". "We deeply regret that the United States has disregarded the consensus it has formed and flip-flopped, provoking a trade war".

It comes in the aftermath of Trump's nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) and his push for China to maintain economic pressure on the North.

Beijing's ambitious industrial policies and state intervention, which causes much of the frustration in Washington, is holding China back, according to Capital Economics' Williams.

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