US, China enact new tariffs

Dwayne Harmon
August 24, 2018

United States exports to China a year ago were worth about $130bn.

Beijing has denied U.S. allegations that it systematically forces the unfair transfer of United States technology, and has said that it adheres to World Trade Organisation rules.

The US and China both implemented tariffs on one another $US16 billion worth of each other's goods.

"U.S. trade tensions with China are more likely to worsen this year, weighing on global growth in 2019", according to a research report from analysts at Moody's Investors Service.

The South China Morning Post reported earlier that Chinese state media were told to refrain from using "aggressive language" to describe Trump and avoid "over-reporting" the trade war. The US Trade Representative is now hearing arguments for and against imposing duties on some $200bn worth of Chinese imports.

Wall Street fell overnight as trade-sensitive stocks were sunk by a new round of tariffs in the escalating trade dispute between China and the United States.

"Instead, these tariffs threaten to increase costs for American families and destroy the livelihoods of US workers", Gold said.

"But if the trade war continues to escalate, from $50bn to $200bn to $500bn, then the blow to China's confidence will indeed be relatively large".

China has responded by threatening to impose new tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, while Beijing could also target the local operations of USA corporations with inspections and boycotts as it has done in past disputes with South Korea and Japan.

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US Treasury's David Malpass, undersecretary for worldwide affairs, is leading two days of talks with China's Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, and Chinese Vice Finance Minister Liao Min that began yesterday.

China immediately responded in kind with an equivalent tariff of its own against U.S. exports.

"In order for us to get a positive result out of these engagements, it's really critical that they (China) address the fundamental concerns that we have raised", the official said on a press call on the new USA security review law for foreign acquisitions.

CGTN did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the removal.

This week's talks are also taking place as hundreds of executives and officials from USA companies, trade groups and other entities have descended on Washington to weigh in on the administration's planned tariffs on the additional US$200 billion in Chinese imports.

President Donald Trump himself has played down expectations in recent days.

China has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organisation against the latest tariffs, the country's Commerce Ministry said yesterday, and will "continue to take necessary countermeasures".

Though it is too early for trade damage to show up in much economic data, tariffs are beginning to increase costs for consumers and businesses on both sides of the Pacific, forcing companies to adjust supply chains and pricing, with some USA companies looking to decrease reliance on China.

"I think the fact that they would send lower level folks suggests that they're not talking about the big things", former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said Thursday on CNBC. That effort, however, has been resisted by other parts of the Trump administration and it is unclear whether they will be ready to be presented to the visiting Chinese delegation. The list of USA products this time includes oil products and coal for the first time, S&P Global Platts reports.

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