Saturday, 21 July, 2018


U.S. has launched "biggest trade war in economic history", says China

China hits back with tariffs accusing US of launching the 'largest trade war in history&apos China implemented retaliatory tariffs on some imports from the U.S. on Friday immediately after new U.S. duties had taken
Conrad Doyle | 09 July, 2018, 19:57

They kicked in just after midnight ET, which is noon in Beijing.

Beijing had said it would retaliate with punitive measures on United States products worth a similar amount, including soybeans, pork and cotton, but it had not officially confirmed on Friday that they had taken effect.

The Trump administration contends that China has deployed predatory tactics in a push to overtake US technological dominance.

Beijing insists it's the injured party.

"In order to defend the core interests of the country and the interests of the people, we are forced to retaliate", the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

Trade issues aside, the investment environment in the United States has deteriorated recently, leading to fears that foreign investment into the country could decline significantly.

That would bring the total of targeted Chinese goods to potentially $550 billion - more than the $506 billion in goods that China actually shipped to the United States a year ago. The Global Times, an English tabloid under the People's Daily, warned that China should be prepared for the U.S. to try to contain China's rise.

Signs of nervousness about the trade outlook were evident elsewhere in global markets with the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc firm against the dollar while core USA and German bonds were in demand.

The big question is how far the hostilities between Washington and Beijing will go.

President Donald Trump has ordered the United States to impose tariffs on $US50b worth of Chinese goods - and China has said it will retaliate in kind.

The analysts say that Beijing could suddenly make it very hard for USA companies to operate in China, whether it be getting contracts, licenses or regulatory approvals.

The president upped the stakes on Thursday, saying the amount of goods subject to tariffs could rise to more than $500bn.

He described the potential escalation to reporters aboard Air Force One: "Thirty-four, and then you have another 16 in two weeks and then, as you know, we have 200 billion in abeyance and then after the 200 billion we have 300 billion in abeyance. OK?"

"We are in a trade war", he said.

The most immediate impact, however, may be the price Williams will be able to get per bushel after even the threat of a trade war rattled the commodities market.

China is the biggest buyer of USA soybeans, importing more than $12.4 billion worth of the oil seed in 2017.

The US Chamber of Commerce says some states will have billions of dollars worth of exports at risk.

Washington increased tariffs at 12:01 a.m.

"If this ends at $34 billion, it will have a marginal effect on both economies, but if it escalates to $500 billion like Trump said, then it's going to have a big impact for both countries", said Feixiang.

President Donald Trump is fighting trade battles in all directions, not just with China. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., highlighted further uncertainty caused by the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

In addition to the $US16b under consultation, Mr Trump has flagged there could be more tariffs in store.

"I would like to see them stop the tariff today, " he added.

He has also threatened a 10% levy on an additional $200bn of Chinese goods if Beijng "refuses to change its practices". On the other hand, it is expanding restrictions on investments. But the thing is some say the trade war started this morning, and in a war, it's not always calm or controllable or rational. "We urge the two governments to come back to the negotiation table". It forced USA firms to hand over their technology if they wanted to operate in China.

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