Saturday, 19 October, 2019

China stands its ground after Trump amps up tariff threats

China stands its ground after Trump amps up tariff threats China stands its ground after Trump amps up tariff threats
Russell Knight | 03 August, 2018, 16:53

The latest on the on-going trade war bewteen Washington and Beijing. the Trump administration says it's considering raising its proposed tariffs on 200 billion dollars of Chinese goods.to 25 percent.

The move comes as the U.S. and China are tangled in a trade dispute, after President Donald Trump announced earlier this year that the United States would apply punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum worldwide, and then moved to add tariffs on other Chinese goods.

Chinese officials said they were prepared to retaliate again with higher tariffs of their own.

The higher tariff rate, if implemented, would apply to a list of goods valued at $200 billion identified by the USTR last month as a response to China's retaliatory tariffs on an initial round of USA tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese electronic components, machinery, autos and industrial goods.

Trump directed trade representative Robert Lighthizer to raise the tariff rate to 25%, the people said, adding that the change isn't final yet and may not go forward after a public review.

They include food products, chemicals, steel and aluminum and consumer goods ranging from dog food, furniture and carpets to auto tires, bicycles, baseball gloves and beauty products.

China's vice-trade minister Wang Shouwen said last month in Geneva that "for any talks to be successful, no party should point a gun at the other party".

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In response, Chinese authorities have warned the United States against "blackmailing and pressuring", and vowed to hit back if its hawkish partner takes further steps to hinder mutual trade.

The White House may hope that higher stakes force China to make concessions, but that is a risky bet, said Mickey Kantor, a partner at the law firm Mayer Brown who served as USA commerce secretary under former president Bill Clinton.

While Beijing has said it is not seeking to form a trade coalition to counter Washington, observers say China has been lobbying partners on the trade front as it feels the effects of the intensifying trade war with the US.

The source said the Trump administration could announce the tougher proposal as early as Wednesday.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press briefing that President Trump's threats at "blackmail" would fail. A 25% tariff would boost the cost of a range of USA imports at a time when inflation has begun to pick up.

Two Trump administration officials told reporters on a conference call that the USA president remains open to communications with Beijing and that through informal conversations the two countries are discussing whether a "fruitful negotiation" is possible. It would also give Congress more oversight of the process.

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