China vows retaliation for latest USA tariff threat

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 11, 2018

"As a result of China's retaliation (to Friday's measures) and failure to change its practices, the president has ordered USTR to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports", Lighthizer said in a statement.

'It is totally unacceptable for American side to publish a tariff list in a way that is accelerating and escalating, ' it said.

China and the USA face a wider trade war, after Beijing vowed on Wednesday to retaliate over Washington's threat to impose $200bn in additional tariffs on Chinese goods. It's unclear what that action could include.

The U.S. Trade Representative announced the possible second round of tariff hikes on Tuesday targeting a $200 billion list of Chinese goods ranging from burglar alarms to mackerel.

This latest move in the ballooning trade conflict between the world's two leading economies came just days after tit-for-tat duties on goods worth $34 billion took effect with the shock waves rippling across Asian markets.

"Don't start a trade war and throw the soybean farmer under the bus because some big business lobby in Washington is whining about China's terms of business", he said.

"This is an appropriate response", Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, insisted last night.

The latest move suggests that Trump - who in March declared that "trade wars are good and easy to win" - may be compromising on his pledge to spare consumers from the pain. President Donald Trump has already ordered tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese exports for later this summer, after the comment period on the American list closes, and China will retaliate again.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Given the magnitude and breadth of the tariff list, the impact is expected to ripple through supply chains and cause collateral damage on regional economies", Zhu Huani of Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.

U.S. officials will hold hearings in late August on the list of targeted products and an administration official said it would take about two months to finalise, at which point Trump would decide whether to go ahead with the levies.

"Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said in a statement.

Beijing's lopsided trade balance with the United States means it will quickly run out of imports for retaliation.

"The behaviour of the USA is hurting China, hurting the world, and hurting itself", a spokesperson for China's commerce ministry said in a statement. However, because China exports more to the U.S. than it imports there are limits on the amount of tariffs Beijing can impose on American goods.

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