Tariff war continues between the U.S. and China

by Ben Pena September 26, 2018, 1:57
Tariff war continues between the U.S. and China

On Saturday, Beijing turned down an invitation from Washington for another round of trade talks this month after US President Donald Trump ordered the imposition of tariffs on an additional US$200 billion in Chinese imports. China's customs agency said it responded at noon by beginning to collect taxes of 5 or 10 per cent on a $60 billion list of 5,207 American goods, from honey to industrial chemicals. A news report suggested that China will block any potential negotiations unless USA president Trump withdraws his threats of further tariffs on the country.

It leaves Beijing hitting US$110 billion worth of United States goods, almost everything it buys from the US.

The remarks followed the publication of a white paper from China's State Council earlier this week that described recent USA actions as "trade bullyism".

A day after both sides heaped fresh tariffs on each other's goods, vice-commerce minister Wang Shouwen said the resumption of talks on the matter depended on the "will" of the US. "We're going to get an outcome which forces China to behave in a way that if you want to be a power - a global power - transparency, rule of law, you don't steal intellectual property".

The US has "made a series of false accusations, and used increasing tariffs and other means of economic intimidation, to try to impose its own interests on China by way of extreme pressure", the State Council (cabinet) said in a white paper on trade and economic tensions with Washington.

It's normal for the US and China to have trade disputes, but their common interests are much bigger than the problem areas, according to Fu.

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He said Tuesday the United States measures "have made it impossible for the negotiations to proceed" and blamed the U.S. for abandoning a consensus on trade that was struck in May, but was quickly followed by new USA tariffs.

China imports far less from the United States, making a dollar-for-dollar match on any new U.S. tariffs impossible. The Trump administration has also called on China to allow US companies greater access to Chinese markets and to cut its USA trade surplus.

"The US-China trade war has no clear end in sight".

"With generic polls favoring the Democrats, they may feel that the trade environment may be less hostile after November 6", said ING's chief Asia economist, Rob Carnell.

"[The trade war] has cut off connections between industries in different sectors, risking fragmentation of global supply chains", said Luo Wen, vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Beijing cancelled the visit of a Chinese negotiating team expected September 27-28 in Washington, The Wall Street Journal said. Trump has been repeatedly threatening to add duties on remaining imports from its trade partner if it retaliates.

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