Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Decision on $300 billion China tariffs after G20 meeting, says Donald Trump

Bilateral trade in services exceeded US$125 billion in 2018 and two-way direct investment totalled nearly US$160 billion in the past four decades Trump threatens China with tariffs on a further US$300b of goods
Patty Aguilar | 08 June, 2019, 04:43

Chinese state media have been ratcheting up anti-U.S. rhetoric since the two countries failed to reach an agreement at trade talks earlier this month and Trump more than doubled punitive tariffs on $200 billion (£158 billion) worth of Chinese goods to 25 per cent.

President Donald Trump has sought to reduce America's persistent trade deficit, which he sees as a sign of economic weakness and the result of bad trade agreements crafted by naive USA negotiators.

Trump and Xi are attending the Group of 20 Summit at the month in Japan.

Trade tensions began last March after the USTR's Section 301 investigation found that the regime's unfair trade practices, including theft of US intellectual property, forced technology transfer, and cyber theft of trade secrets, have cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

"One way or another I'll make that decision - after the G20", Trump told reporters on Thursday during a visit to France. I will be meeting with President Xi and we'll see what happens, ' he declared.

The best-case scenario for markets could be another truce as we saw after last year's meeting between the two leaders. Trump's threat was also met with resistance by multiple USA business groups, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, which threatened legal action to prevent the White House from imposing the import tax.

So, the worst-case scenario for US-China talks could be President Trump walking away from the meeting.

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United States and Chinese negotiators hit an impasse in trade talks last month, which Trump said happened because Beijing reneged on provisions of a tentative deal.

Besides the tariff war, in May US President Donald Trump issued an executive order adding China's Huawei and its 70 affiliates to a trade blacklist, thereby restricting its activity in the country.

"If the United States willfully decides to escalate tensions, we'll fight to the end", ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular news briefing on Thursday.

Days after it accused Washington of scuttling trade talks, Beijing has released yet another government paper on the US-China trade war - this time pointing out how the United States has reaped rich benefits from bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

The Commerce Ministry also issued a report on how the United States has benefited from years of economic and trade cooperation with China, saying U.S. claims that China has taken advantage in bilateral trade were groundless.

Adding to concerns China may target USA companies in the trade war, the ministry last week said it was drafting a list of "unreliable entities" that had harmed Chinese firms' interests.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is scheduled to meet People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang this weekend at a gathering of G20 finance leaders in Japan, the first face-to-face discussion between key negotiators in almost a month.

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