China files WTO challenge to US $200B tariff plan

by Garry Watts July 17, 2018, 1:27
China files WTO challenge to US $200B tariff plan

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European Council president Donald Tusk was speaking in Beijing at the opening of a summit between China and the European Union, just hours ahead of a summit between Mr Trump and Mr Putin in Helsinki.

The United States on Monday launched challenges at the World Trade Organization to hit back at the major trading partners who have retaliated against President Donald Trump's tariffs on metals and goods from China.

Trade between the United States and China totaled more than $635 billion in 2017, with a goods trade deficit favoring China of $375.2 billion, the U.S.

Canada, one of the largest trading partners of the United States, make the biggest move, unloading 10 to 25 percent duties on $12.7 billion on USA goods. "They need to slow financial deleveraging slightly and to turn their focus more on growth-supportive measures, for example increasing liquidity through (bank reserve requirement) cuts", said Iris Pang, Greater China Economist at ING in Hong Kong.

Today we are facing a dilemma: "whether to play a tough game such as tariff wars and conflicts in places like Ukraine and Syria, or to look for common solutions based on fair rules", Tusk said. "The EU is open, but it is not naive", Juncker said.

"Not to start trade wars, which turned into hot conflicts so often in our history, but to bravely and responsibly reform the rule-based global order". The pool report did not make clear if any companies came forward.

He advocated joint efforts by China, the United States and Russian Federation to reform the WTO, because "there is still time to prevent conflict and chaos".

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Opec, together with a group of non-Opec producers led by Russian Federation , reduced output in 2017 to prop up the market.

Critics of Beijing's policies say foreign firms are competing with Chinese rivals backed by massive, market-distorting subsidies and government support, issues not sufficiently addressed under WTO rules.

The Chinese government said in a brief statement earlier in the morning that the two sides had agreed to jointly maintain rule-based worldwide order and support multilateralism and free trade.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's global broadcaster, both sides are expected to express their support for a rules-based worldwide trading system, governed under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

According to DW, this is because the European Union and China have significant disagreements when it comes to issues like market access and intellectual property rights.

The two sides also agreed to establish a working group on WTO reforms. 62 percent of Americans polled said they feel China's trade policy with the unfair with only 30 percent considering it fair. "Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news", Tusk tweeted late Sunday from Beijing, without naming Trump directly.

Trade data last week provided a bright spot, showing China's export machine held up in the face of the mounting tensions - but analysts warned the numbers may have been inflated by exporters pushing out shipments early to beat the scheduled tariffs.

Lighthizer said the US would take "all necessary actions" to protect USA interests and urged trading partners to "work constructively" with the Trump administration to address overcapacity in both metal sectors.

The Trump administration is hitting back at a number of countries for what it considers unjustified retaliatory tariffs that were imposed as a response to the steel and aluminum duties the USA applied on its closest allies in the name of national security.

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