Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

China, US: The Trade Fight Escalates With New Rounds of Tariffs

China, US: The Trade Fight Escalates With New Rounds of Tariffs

Just this week, the Trump administration announced plans to slap $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods on top of the $50 billion in duties already in place.

"There is no way to fulfill the promise, but we will not stop our hard work to promote the healthy development of China-U.S. trade".

These will apply to nearly 6,000 items, including handbags, rice and textiles. China responded cautiously, announcing roughly comparable tariffs on $50 billion of United States exports to China in August.

A prolonged trade war between the United States, the world's largest economy, and China, the second-largest, would ripple through the rest of the globe, potentially affecting economies from Buenos Aires to Istanbul.

He added: "We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly".

China has yet to publicly accept an invitation extended last week by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to hold a fresh round of talks, which China welcomed at the time.

By imposing taxes on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, President Donald Trump has intensified a battle of wills between the world's two largest economies - and the outcome is far from certain.

"Many family farms are afraid they won't be able to pay the bills if this misguided trade war continues", Heitkamp said in a statement. So if Trump fulfills his threat and hits the remaining $267 billion of Chinese exports as well, by next Sunday ALL America's imports from China and ALL China's imports from the United States will be paying tariffs. Yet Mr. Trump no longer approaches China quite as isolated from the rest of the world as he had previously.

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"President Trump issued an ultimatum to China: Surrender unconditionally or face unprecedented tariffs", said Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, said.

Moreover, owing to their strained relations with Trump, some US media outlets could turn Sino-US trade and economic ties into a US domestic political topic, further complicating Sino-US trade ties. The MFN rule requires all countries to be treated equally unless specific exceptions are agreed, and the also covered by MFN status.

No one knows how long the tariffs announced Monday might last.

Sean O'Scannlain, the chief executive of Fortune Fish & Gourmet in Chicago, said he recently had seven workers package an order for 36,000 pounds of individually wrapped Chinese tilapia for a meal delivery company. (It's the importer who pays the tariffs.) The same goes for United States exports to China, which are only one-sixth of total American exports.

"One-way depreciation of the yuan brings more harm than benefits for China", he said. There really are those around Trump (and elsewhere in Washington) who are encouraging his obsession with the American trade deficit with China for exactly that reason. But most don't support Mr. Trump's tariffs as a way to prompt better behavior from Beijing.

All of this means, he said, is that the system remains stacked against the US and a system that has been in place that long that has achieved such volumes can not be changed overnight. Chinese military officers have been indicted by US prosecutors on charges of computer hacking to steal business secrets.

The US relationship with China is traditionally a challenging one [VIDEO] and has escalated dramatically in the past week. And since a trade war, if it breaks out, will not necessarily end before the November midterm elections, it will add to the uncertainties of Trump's Republican Party.

The industry group said it supported stronger bilateral engagement, with China and the U.S. working together to protect the valuable IP of its members, or leveraging the powerful relationships the USA has with other trading partners to pressure China into enforcing its own IP laws and complying with global IP laws and regulations.

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