Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

China Says U.S. Has Started ‘Biggest Trade War’ in History

China Says U.S. Has Started ‘Biggest Trade War’ in History China Says U.S. Has Started ‘Biggest Trade War’ in History
Patty Aguilar | 08 July, 2018, 08:13

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

Shortly after the tariffs took effect, China said it is "forced to make a necessary counterattack" to a USA tariff hike on billions of dollars of Chinese goods but gave no immediate details of possible retaliation. These tactics include cyber-theft and requiring American companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to China's market.

Beijing insists it's the injured party.

"China is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement on Friday. The fact that the United States produces and sells more goods and services in China than it exports to the market creates a serious vulnerability to boycotts that could impose meaningful costs on USA companies: consumers might avoid Starbucks' 3,300 stores and instead opt for UBC coffee, or they might buy a Xiaomi mobile phone instead of an iPhone - cutting into sales in Apple's third largest market.

Ballpark estimates from economists show that every $100 billion of imports affected by tariffs chip away around 0.5 per cent of global trade, wiping off 0.1 percentage points of GDP growth.

Amongst the commodities, gold prices on Comex were little changed near $ 1255 levels while both crude benchmarks also steadied, as markets await China's reaction to the USA tariffs and the key United States non-farm payrolls (NFP) data.

"Increased tensions in the US-China economic relationship will negatively impact ... operations in China", William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said in a statement Friday. If utilized in the emerging trade war, Beijing's ability to reverse such measures as a "concession" to Washington would also afford it unique ammunition in any negotiations.

Hours before Washington's deadline for the tariffs to take effect, President Trump upped the ante on its largest trading partner, warning that the USA may ultimately target more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - that's roughly the total of United States imports from China previous year. It said they would damage the global economy unless other countries stop them.

But Trump has said his administration will respond to retaliation from Beijing with much bigger waves of tariffs, raising the prospect of worsening tit-for-tat reprisals.

With only $130 billion in United States imports to retaliate against, Beijing has said it will take "qualitative" and "quantitative" measures against the U.S., triggering fears it could cripple the operations of USA multinationals in China.

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So what exactly is President Trump trying to accomplish here?

Mr Trump has already imposed tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, and started charging levies on the imports of steel and aluminium from the European Union, Mexico and Canada. The oilseed is the top agricultural commodity that the US ships to China by far and is among the largest products for overall exports.

"I think we should have left well enough alone", he said.

Donald Trump's trade war could potentially drag in products from other American trade partners, undermining relations. Chinese exporters have reported U.S. orders fell off ahead of the tariff hike.

"With tariffs against China taking effect, American consumers are one step closer to feeling the full effects of a trade war".

The trade war may have just started, but China has already been making moves in the soybean world as USA shipments originally destined for the nation have been canceled or rerouted.

The two giant economies appear ready to see which side can endure the most pain.

China, saying USA officials have violated World Trade Organization rules, said it had no choice but to respond with tariffs of its own. So many little parts for nearly everything are manufactured in China, and there can be a real hold-up in manufacturing because of these tariffs.

Beijing's taxes hit US -made aircraft, cars, computer chips, fuel, pork and soybeans.

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