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China hits back at latest U.S. tariffs with measures worth $60bn

19 Septembre 2018

US business officials are continuing to express concerns about the escalating trade war.

The announcement followed a warning by an American business group that a "downward spiral" in their conflict appeared certain following Trump's penalties on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Multiple reports in recent days cited officials saying Trump had made a decision to press ahead with new tariffs, but at a lower rate of 10 percent after initially announcing they should be hiked to 25 percent in light of China's alleged intransigence. It appealed for "pragmatic dialogue" to "jointly safeguard the principle of free trade and the multilateral trading system".

Donohue called back to a six-day hearing in August where more than 300 US businesses and trade organizations pleaded that USA trade officials should rescind additional tariffs on Chinese goods, using statistics and props to show the reasoning behind such measures were ill-founded.

The tariffs will become effective on 24 September, if the US' renewed tariffs on $200 billion worth Chinese products take effect, the official media here quoted CCTC as saying.

China said Tuesday it had no other choice than to retaliate because the USA has created "new uncertainty" between the two countries.

The U.S. explained the move as a response to China's alleged theft of American intellectual property and the forced transfer of technology. We've been ripped off by the European Union.We've been ripped off by everybody.

Earlier, China vowed that it will not play defense in the escalating trade dispute, adding further fuel to tensions as a new list of items subject to tariffs, including technology and consumer goods, was anticipated from Washington. "Because we can't let them do anymore what they've done", he said. But Beijing has other ways to retaliate.

Some administration hard-liners would be content to see the trade and investment restrictions lead to a decoupling of the US and Chinese economies, Hirson said.

Trump warned that "if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports".

The US President also said he had great respect for Chinese President Xi Jinping, but the US goods trade deficit with China was too large and "we can't do that any more".

Ross also said the U.S. was actively pursuing action against China through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a process the secretary said was supported by Japan and the EU.

The chamber appealed to both governments for "results-oriented negotiations".

Beijing has retaliated in kind, but some analysts and American businesses are concerned it could resort to other measures such as pressuring USA companies operating in China.

"Although this was expected and we sold off before the close, one would think the market should be down more", said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut. The U.S. -China trade war will last not for 20 months or 20 days, but "maybe 20 years", he said.

They include consumer products such as luggage and handbags, textiles including cotton and other fabrics, household items such as cutlery and towels, and food including rice. The widely voiced view among professional investors has been that the escalation of tariffs and tough trade rhetoric have been tactics aimed ultimately at lowering unfair trade barriers and protecting US intellectual property. Chinese officials have signaled they'll refuse to meet with Mnuchin if this next round of tariffs is imposed, according to two people familiar with the discussions. But Trump quickly backed away from the truce.

China hits back at latest U.S. tariffs with measures worth $60bn