Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Trump hails big tariffs on China

US President Donald Trump US President Donald Trump
Russell Knight | 15 June, 2018, 22:59

President Trump on Friday announced tariffs of 25 percent targeting $50 billion in Chinese imports from "industrially significant" technologies - making good on a pledge to punish the alleged theft of United States intellectual property.

Trump said the 25 percent tariff also will target "goods related to China's Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive future economic growth for China, but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries". Trump claims China's theft of American intellectual property and technology made the tariffs a necessary part of conducting business.

Gold prices fell on profit-taking after the dollar hit a seven-month peak and the metal failed to find support despite fresh trade skirmishes between the United States and China.

Making good on a pledge to punish the alleged theft of American intellectual property, Trump warned in a statement of "additional tariffs" if China hits back with tit-for-tat duties on American goods and services exports.

Trump's announcement is an escalation of a long-simmering trade battle between the two countries.

The list will contain 800 product categories, down from 1,300 previously, according to another administration official and an industry source familiar with the list.

The move toward imposing USA tariffs on Chinese goods follows negotiations between US and Chinese officials centered on increased purchases by Beijing of American farm and energy commodities and cutting the US trade deficit with China.

In the trade fight, Bannon said, Trump has converted three major tools that "the American elites considered off the table" - namely, the use of tariffs, the technology investigation of China and penalties on Chinese telecom giant ZTE. "The list does not include goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular telephones or televisions".

The U.S. trade actions against China could lead to retaliation from Beijing.

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China immediately threatened to retaliate on $50 billion in USA goods, so Trump upped the ante, vowing to hit another $100 billion of goods.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 14, 2018.

"A trade war never benefits anyone, so rather than pursuing a piecemeal tariffs approach, now is the time to seize the opportunity before us and work toward a U.S. - China trade agreement that will benefit American workers for generations to come".

But that amount is still significant and all but guaranteed to provoke a response form Beijing, which has its own tariff target list of $50 billion in US goods, including soybeans, beef and cars.

"A slowing China will add to the challenges for the global economy", said Louis Kuijs, chief Asia economist at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong and a former International Monetary Fund researcher.

"Trump's reckless decisions and actions have created serious problems for the rest of the world and are pushing the USA toward isolation", said the editorial.

Beijing also has announced plans to cut import duties on autos and some consumer goods and to ease limits on foreign ownership in auto manufacturing, insurance and some other industries, though those don't directly address US complaints.

The EU and Canada have said they will enact retaliatory tariffs starting in July. "China will retaliate and we will be at the beginning of a very nasty trade war if we proceed with this today".

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