Published: Fri, August 24, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Trade war: US, China slap new tariffs on each other

Trade war: US, China slap new tariffs on each other

That figure would be far more than China imports from the United States, raising concerns that Beijing could consider other forms of retaliation, such as making life more hard for American firms in China or allowing its yuan currency to weaken further to support its exporters.

Beijing has denied USA allegations it systematically forces the unfair transfer of US technology and has said it adheres to World Trade Organization rules.

Trump has threatened to impose duties on virtually all of the more than $500 billion of Chinese goods exported annually to the United States unless Beijing agrees to sweeping changes to its intellectual property practices, industrial subsidy programs and tariff structures and buys more U.S. goods.

Thousands of American and Chinese products became 25 percent more expensive overnight, but talks are underway Thursday to try to avert more economic damage from President Donald Trump's multifront trade confrontations.

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.

"On behalf of doctors, thank you for pointing out the need to wean off American goods like bourbon and bacon", she added, referencing Chinese retaliatory tariffs on USA products.

Trump also has accused China of manipulating its currency to combat U.S. tariffs.

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

China's economy, which is expected to grow around 6.5 per cent this year, has not so far been seriously affected by the tensions.

The US has fired its latest trade salvo at China, implementing a 25% tariff on another $US16 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The tariffs, scheduled weeks ago, did not interfere with the start of a second day of trade talks in Washington led by Chinese commerce vice minister Wang Shouwen and US Treasury undersecretary for global affairs, David Malpass. Beijing responded with similar penalties on the same amount of American goods.

The Chinese government criticized the US increase as a violation of World Trade Organization rules and said it would file a legal challenge.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) declined to give details of the Washington talks. Previous negotiations failed to produce any lasting deals, and President Donald Trump has suggested the current talks may not be much different.

Some commentators also struck a note of caution for China in taking tit-for-tat approach. US President Donald Trump is insisting that China should bring down the trade deficit by Dollars 100 billion immediately followed by USD 200 billion by improving access to more US goods ensuring intellectual property rights of the American technology. In response, the Chinese delegation could this week offer a private pledge not to let the currency weaken further as long as negotiations continue, said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. While Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is eager to find a negotiated solution, other cabinet members such as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are keen to continue increasing the pressure on Beijing, analysts say. 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.

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