Sunday, 19 August, 2018


China’s Imports Jump as It Digs In for a Trade Fight

Bennie Garza | 08 August, 2018, 12:55

In mid-June he instructed U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer "to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of ten percent".

The investigation had revealed that China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from USA companies and it deprives USA companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.

And Mr. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on virtually everything China sells to the United States.

China reported larger than expected exports in July, even as the USA prepared a new list of products for tariffs.

Sales to the USA rose by 13.3%, while China's surplus with the States shrank marginally to $28.1bn (£21.7bn) last month from a record $29bn (£22.4bn) in June.

The first round of President Donald Trump's 25 percent punitive tariffs on China will hit $50 billion in goods starting August 23, the government announced Tuesday. Since then, Washington and Beijing have raised the stakes by threatening more punitive trade measures in an intensifying dispute that has rattled financial markets anxious about the impact on investment and growth.

China has responded with retaliatory tariffs of its own. However, analysts still expect a less favorable trade balance for China in coming months given it's early days in the tariff brawl.

The tariffs are aimed at industrial, rather than consumer, imports.

Although the move was expected, it cements the view that there appears to be no effort underway to defuse the dispute between the world's two largest economies.

Chinese state media, reflecting the government's stance, has said China will not be cowed in the face of U.S. threats.

Beijing has called on U.S. officials to be "cool headed", but fired back warning it would impose duties on an additional $60 billion in United States goods, a threat the White House dismissed as "weak".

All China's main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled "declaration", on their front pages.

"Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems".

It has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in USA goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

The latest $16 billion list from the United States will hit semiconductors from China, even though numerous basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.

Some U.S. industries have expressed disappointment at Tuesday's decision.

In March 2018, the USTR had released the findings of its "exhaustive" Section 301 investigation that found China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are "unreasonable and discriminatory and burden United States commerce".

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