US Urges 'Reckoning' Over China's Trade Abuses at WTO Meeting

Arturo Kim
July 16, 2018

China's exports, meanwhile, slightly topped expectations by rising 11.3 percent in June, according to data from the country's General Administration of Customs showed on Friday.

The United States has started a trade war and China will defend itself, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said on Thursday, urging the United States to "take the gun" of tariffs away to smooth the way for talks.

"Looking ahead, export growth will cool in the coming months as U.S. tariffs start to bite alongside a broader softening in global demand", Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said.

"The new tariffs won't take effect for at least two months", and "hearings on the products are scheduled for August 20-23", the Wall Street Journal reports (paywall).

"The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 219 points, or 0.88%, to 24,700, the S&P 500 slid 0.71 percent and the Nasdaq was down 0.55 percent", reports, while the Financial Times said (paywall), "U.S. futures slid" and "industrial stocks were back under fire again" after the new tariff announcements: "Boeing is down 1.2 percent, Caterpillar dropped 1.5 percent and Deere shed 2 percent".

The Trump administration raised the stakes in its trade war with China on Tuesday, saying it would slap 10 percent tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing criticized the measure but has yet to say how it might respond. That has prompted concern regulators might expand retaliation to trying to hamper operations of American companies in China.

Since entering the WTO, Wang said, China has been a staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system.

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China reported Friday that its June imports rose 14.1 percent in dollar-denominated terms, falling far short of a 20.8 percent increase expected by analysts.

China could further lower import tariffs, and even possibly implement "zero" tariffs.

Huang noted China has made headway in pushing for more balanced trade, citing surplus having shrunk for eight quarters in a row and a much faster growth pace in imports.

Senior members of President Donald Trump's Republican party have condemned the spiralling trade row and called for face-to-face talks with Beijing.

"To round out the picture China's trade surplus with the European Union grew on a 12m basis, rising to $131.8bn, while China maintained a deficit with Japan of $ and the surplus with the rest of Asia continued to narrow, falling to $65.8bn, its lowest since July 2014".

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Monday China, the United States and Russian Federation had a duty not to start trade wars and called on the three countries to reform the World Trade Organization.

The surplus with the 28-nation European Union, the country's second-largest trading partner, expanded by 33.6 percent to $16.3 billion. "Weaker than forecast imports, will on the margin, add to the narrative about slowing Chinese growth".

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