Saturday, 17 November, 2018

US tariffs take effect, China announces retaliation

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen says China has not stepped up regulations in retaliation against American tariffs Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen says China has not stepped up regulations in retaliation against American tariffs
Russell Knight | 11 July, 2018, 20:28

And he is going to keep pushing to make sure that we have good trade deals.

Experts are of the opinion that this trade war could push the global economy into chaos. Recession risks have also been rising simply because of the length of time the USA economy has experienced economic expansion. But that would only be a few companies or sectors.

Tariffs are a tax on imports. By one measure, business confidence has fallen in six of the past seven months in Germany, where exports are nearly half of annual economic output.

In the weeks since the USA leveled tariffs on steel and aluminum - which the European Union called illegal - Mexico retaliated with levies of 15 percent to 25 percent on US agricultural products; Canada imposed tariffs on almost $13 billion of USA goods; and the European Union hit back with its own 25 percent tariff on distinctively American products ranging from bourbon to Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Consumer Technology Association: "While President Trump says his trade policy is meant to punish China, the numbers show that, in reality, US businesses, workers and consumers will pay the price under this policy", said Sage Chandler, the group's vice president for global trade. The WTO issued the warning just before new USA tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports go into effect at midnight. The Trump administration is also studying the option of putting tariffs on cars, which would significantly escalate the confrontation.

Growth a year ago was the strongest in a decade, since before the global financial crisis.

The US and China on Friday launched tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's imports, the opening shots in what Beijing called "the largest trade war in economic history" between the world's top two economies.

It added that instead of "serving the interests of United States companies and people, the move will prove to be counter-productive and damaging".

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"Sentiment is holding up well in Asia today, reflecting that tariffs on $34 billion of goods is pretty much priced in", said Frances Cheung, head of Asia macro strategy at Westpac in Singapore.

China's commerce ministry says Beijing has "no choice but to fight" as United States prepares for enforcing tariffs on more than $34 billion in Chinese imports from Friday.

Daimler has already lowered its outlook for profits, citing higher than expected costs from the new tariffs.

"After the United States introduced the new tariffs, China's reciprocal measures also immediately took effect", said the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Lu Kang. Tariffs discourage imports by making them more expensive. Of those, 81,000 - worth $2.37 billion - went to China. The Office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released the list of categories of products affected. The Chinese government had not officially confirmed on Friday afternoon that the retaliatory tariffs had taken effect.

Have US trade partners retaliated?

Europe is waiting to see whether the Trump administration will go ahead separately with tariffs on auto imports. Volkswagen stocks added 4.5 percent.

"Europe can not win anything" on an overall basis "for one obvious reason: we are net exporters", said Garcia Herrero, chief economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis and a senior fellow at European research institute Bruegel. The EU and China agreed last month to deepen commercial ties and support trade rules. American officials worry USA industrial leadership will be eroded by Chinese plans to create tech champions in fields including robotics, biotech and artificial intelligence. "Tariffs will negate gains made by the public from tax reforms and deregulation, push up US production costs, damage the competitiveness of businesses and their workers, and force companies to look outside the U.S.to maintain production".

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