China expresses regret at USA move to file WTO challenge
China expresses regret at USA move to file WTO challenge
24 March, 2018, 17:14
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump imposed massive trade tariffs amounting to Dollars 60 billion on China, in a move that could escalate into a global trade war, given the accelerating trade tensions between the two countries.
China has threatened to retaliate by hitting US agricultural exports if tariffs on Chinese imports worth up to $60 billion are announced by Washington.
According to the Farm Credit Administration, total USA agricultural exports stood just under $140 billion in 2015, with Mainland China being the number one destination accounting for $22.5 billion worth of goods.
Additionally, the Chinese officials proposed slapping tariffs on the imports of advanced electronics and machinery as well as luxury goods from the U.S.
President Donald Trump will announce tariffs on Chinese imports on Thursday, a White House official said, in a move aimed at curbing theft of US technology and likely to trigger retaliation from Beijing and stoke fears of a global trade war.
"Many other countries are now negotiating fair trade deals with us", the president said on Friday.
Lighthizer told the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, a top economic panel, that the aim would be to minimize the impact of any tariffs on USA consumers.
It was carried out under Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act and centers on claims that China has flouting copyright laws and forced U.S. companies to hand over trade secrets.
Those goods include 128 United States agricultural and steel products including fruit, wine, pork, steel pipes and recycled aluminium.
The comments came in a phone call between China's vice-premier Liu He and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Beijing has warned the U.S. that it is "not afraid of a trade war", but has said that it hopes to avoid one through continued dialogue.
"China does not want to fight a trade war with anyone".
China's imports of USA agricultural goods declined by three billion dollars to just over $19 billion over the two-year period.
Some say China's retaliation might have a negative effect on the Trump administration as President Trump carried eight-out-of-10 largest soybean and hog-producing states in the 2016 election.
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China's ambassador to the WTO told Reuters on Thursday that China was ready for the USA move, and would challenge it at the WTO. The United States has chose to exempt the European Union and six other countries from the steel and aluminium tariffs .
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