Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Donald Trump hardens stand on China; doubles down on 'reciprocal tax'

Leaders in China and Europe have threatened reciprocal import charges if the US President imposes his Leaders in China and Europe have threatened reciprocal import charges if the US President imposes his
Patty Aguilar | 11 March, 2018, 09:36

China says it "firmly opposes" U.S. President Donald Trump's tariff increase for imported steel and aluminum but gave no indication whether Beijing might impose its own measures in response.

Mr Trump has said that the U.S. would "win big" in any trade war. "And we're going to be doing a lot of that", he added.China, which ranks 11 among the largest sources of U.S. steel imports, cautioned yesterday that it was prepared to "make an appropriate and necessary response" should the United States impose the tariffs.

But those who backed Mr Trump's move included Democratic Senator Joe Manchin who said it was "past time to defend our interests, our security and our workers in the global economy".

Trump declared during the White House ceremony. The US and China are among the 24 WTO members that have confirmed their presence at the "mini-ministerial" meeting called by India on March 20 to break the impasse on certain issues and prepare common ground to push the mandate of the WTO.

The 28-country bloc has previously vowed to impose counter-tariffs on iconic American products, including many from pro-Trump states, such as bourbon, Harley Davidson motorcycles, Levi's jeans, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.

"The misuse of the "national security exception" clause by the United States is wanton destruction of the multilateral trade system represented by the WTO and will surely have a serious impact on the normal worldwide trade order".

Trump has complained about low-priced Chinese exports of steel and aluminum, but the latest move was likely to hit Japan and South Korea harder.

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"The U.S.is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft". "We have now again come to a crucial moment for testing whether the parties involved are truly honest in resolving the Korean peninsula nuclear issue". The US President said the stage for the imposition of reciprocal tax has been set in the first year of his administration.

Earlier, during a cabinet meeting, Trump vowed flexibility on the trade barriers, telling reporters that he could change the tariffs "up or down depending on the country".

Japan said the import duties would have a "big impact" on bilateral ties, while South Korea threatened to take the issue to the World Trade Organization.

"I'll have a right to drop out countries or add countries", he said.

The diplomacy to be rolled out by President Xi Jinping as head of state this year will "write a whole new chapter" of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

The two metals are "the backbone of our nation. the bedrock of our defence-industrial base", the president said at Thursday's signing ceremony.

Australia's trade minister said he had preliminary discussions with the USA trade representative, Robert Lighthizer.

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