Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Trade war erupts as China fights back against U.S. tariffs

U.S. tariffs take effect, China warns of 'counterattack' Trade war erupts as China fights back against US tariffs
Russell Knight | 09 July, 2018, 19:40

Other major USA industries - including pork producers, who rely heavily on Chinese demand - could potentially lose billions of dollars as a result of the second round of pork tariffs from China.

The 25% levy came into effect at midnight Washington time.

President Trump has framed the move as an effort to protect U.S.jobs and stop the "unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China".

Companies worry the spiraling dispute could chill global economic growth. Imaging vendors ship complete systems back to the USA for sale, or send subsystems made in China back to the US for integration into finished products.

Because of this first round of hostilities, American businesses and, ultimately, consumers could end up paying more for such Chinese-made products as construction equipment and other machinery. "If we don't find an exit ramp, this will accelerate like a snowball going down a hill". The dollar and Treasuries edged lower as traders looked ahead to the release of U.S. jobs data.

China has retaliated by imposing a similar 25% tariff on 545 USA products, also worth a total of $34bn.

Some other media were more circumspect, with the English-language China Daily yesterday calling on China to be confident but not arrogant.

The fight could also affect other parts of China-US relations.

Iconic American companies such as Harley-Davidson Inc. are among those set to suffer. There did not appear to be any direct instructions to hold up cargoes, but some customs departments were waiting for official guidance on imposing added tariffs, the sources said.

Thus, the core of the global trading system progressively built up over the past 70 years and the global supply chains and financial system developed over recent decades to facilitate global trade and investment are under threat, along with the still-fragile recovery in the global economy from the financial crisis. "But Trump obviously wants us to lose this partner".

Trump is doubling down on his promise to put "America First" in the nation's foreign and economic policies.

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The president also takes issue with the size of the United States trade deficit with China. Failure that brings economic pain could cost Republican seats in November's mid-term elections. In the White House in 2018, he has started to make good on that pledge. He told CNBC that there may be no way to escape a trade war with China.

Economists usually agree higher tariffs are counterproductive. "Soybean demand is there, and it's really, really big as soybeans go into different channels".

Both sides showed signs of digging in further as the tariffs went into effect.

And despite dire warnings about the impact on the US, Trump believes the robust American economy can outlast its rivals in the current battle.

China accused the United States of launching the "largest trade war in economic history", saying it was "typical trade bullying" that could trigger "global market turmoil".

Trump has said additional tariffs on hundreds of billions in Chinese goods are in the pipeline, too.

"I don't see this ending well", she said.

Vehicles could be the next battleground. "So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. Investors have pulled money out of emerging markets and European equities more quickly over the last two months than in 2016, Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists said on Friday in a weekly note. But recent United States tax cuts and spending increases will probably buoy the dollar and the nation's current-account deficit anyway, the International Monetary Fund said this week. "We also make flags for Trump for 2020".

The US imports much more from China than the other way around, giving the US an advantage in a tariff dispute.

So long as the USA economy and financial markets continue to chug along, there is little indication that Trump would accept a deal that doesn't include some sort of explicit guarantees related to forced technology transfers, or other industrial policies cited by the U.S. administration. The reality is that trade wars are damaging to everyone, not just the participants, and no one will "win".

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