• Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Trump urges tariffs on $100 billion more in Chinese goods, escalating trade-war tension

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by qwerrty, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. qwerrty

    qwerrty SENIOR MEMBER

    May 12, 2010
    +0 / 6,995 / -9
    Trump urges tariffs on $100 billion more in Chinese goods, escalating trade-war tension
    10-12 minutes

    President Trump ordered his administration to consider imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports, a salvo that sent U.S. stock futures tumbling on concern that the world's two largest economies were hurtling toward a full-blown trade war.

    The move threatens to unravel efforts by top U.S. and Chinese trade officials to lower the heat and reach an agreement that could stave off an escalating conflict.

    U.S. stock futures dropped on Trump's latest trade directive. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures slid as much as 1.6%, after the underlying gauge ended the trading day Thursday with a gain of 0.7%.

    "In light of China's unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR [United States trade representative] to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs," Trump said in a statement issued by the White House.

    A White House official later said the $100-billion figure Trump used in the statement referred to the value of the imports that would be covered by the additional tariffs, not the total amount of tax that would be charged on the products.

    China said Wednesday it would levy a 25% tariff on about $50 billion worth of U.S. imports including soybeans, automobiles, chemicals and aircraft. That was in response to the release by the U.S. of a list of proposed tariffs the day before, covering $50 billion in Chinese goods.

    The trade conflict stretches back to March 8, when the Trump administration announced global tariffs on steel and aluminum to protect U.S. producers, eventually exempting many nations but not China. Beijing shot back by levying 15%-to-25% tariffs on $3 billion worth of American goods, including scrap aluminum, frozen pork, dried fruits, nuts and wine.

    U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer quickly followed up Trump's Thursday evening declaration with a statement of his own stressing that none of the tariffs would take immediate effect. He said that any additional tariffs first would be subject to a 60-day public comment period, as would the penalties announced earlier in the week.

    "No tariffs will go into effect until the respective process is complete," Lighthizer said.

    Trump chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow and other administration officials have spent the last two days trying to tamp down trade-war fears.

    "I think we're going to come to agreements," Kudlow said Wednesday on Fox News. "I believe that the Chinese will back down and will play ball."

    Yet Trump signaled a harder line in a speech earlier Thursday, saying it is time to stop China from "taking advantage" of America.

    "You have to go after the people who aren't treating you right," Trump said in West Virginia. "We're going to have a fantastic relationship long term with China, but we have to get this straightened out, we have to have some balance."

    Kudlow, Trump's newly installed economic advisor, has spent days trying to calm investors who are concerned the spat will spark a trade war, saying on Thursday the administration was involved in "delicate negotiations" that might forestall the need for tariffs. He said the U.S. could still hammer out a deal with Beijing, in part by convincing other major economies to call out the Asian nation for unfair trading practices.

    But there is no quick or cosmetic solution to the deep-seated grievances at the heart of dispute. Trump wants fundamental changes from Beijing — to reduce its fat trade surplus with the U.S., to open up Chinese markets and to alter policies and behavior that officials say have hurt American intellectual property and innovation.

    David Loevinger, a former senior Treasury official who is now managing director of emerging markets at TCW Group Inc., said the move casts doubt on the direction of U.S. policy.

    "It's just not clear what the connection is right now between what the president says and what will actually become policy," Loevinger said. "Markets increasingly have to discount White House statements on trade issues."

    Next month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to propose a plan to clamp down on Chinese investments in the U.S., a move that will almost certainly be met with retaliation from Beijing in the form of tougher regulations for American firms in China.

    China countered Trump's plan, announced Tuesday, to slap tariffs on 1,333 of China's products — such as semiconductors and lithium batteries — by saying Wednesday that it would impose duties on a variety of agriculture products, including soybeans, the second-most-valuable U.S. crop.

    The U.S. shipped $14.6 billion of soybeans to China, its biggest buyer, in the last marketing year — more than a third of the entire U.S. soybean crop. Agriculture is one of the few sectors of the American economy that run a trade surplus.

    Such a tariff would hit U.S. farmers hard at a time they are already dealing with depressed crop prices and stagnant values for their land.

    Trump said in his statement that he's directing Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to use his authority to put a plan in place to protect agricultural interests.

    Concern about a potential trade war already had been rippling through farm states, which are a crucial part of Trump's political base and a powerful voting bloc. Trump won eight of the 10 states that are the biggest producers of soybeans.

    Farm state Republicans, including Iowa Sens. Joni Ernst and Charles E. Grassley, and agriculture groups had urged Trump to reconsider his actions on trade.

    "There is a real danger that increased tariffs on U.S. exports will harm Iowa producers and undermine the rural economy," Ernst said in a statement Wednesday.

    Perdue said at an event Wednesday in Ohio that Trump had assured him that the administration would "take care of our American farmers," possibly foreshadowing Thursday's announcement.

    "He said, 'Sonny, you can assure your farmers out there that we're not going to allow them to be the casualties if this trade dispute escalates,' " Perdue told reporters, according to a copy of his remarks distributed by the Agriculture Department.

    Times staff writer Don Lee contributed to this report.

    5:35 p.m.: This article was updated with White House clarification on Trump's $100-billion figure and with more background on the trade conflict, including comments by Sen. Joni Ernst and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

    This article was originally published at 4:35 p.m.



    coming to help him win the war :D


    A Huge Caravan Of Central Americans Is Headed For The US, And No One In Mexico Dares To Stop Them
    Adolfo Flores
    8-10 minutes
    Taking a drag from her cigarette, a Mexican immigration agent looked out toward a caravan of migrants that grew larger with each step they took on the two-lane highway.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
    • Thanks Thanks x 1


    Aug 7, 2017
    +2 / 9,450 / -17
    If the United States wants to impose taxes on Made in China Apple phones and General Motors imported into the United States, we are more than fine.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  3. TaiShang


    Apr 30, 2014
    +72 / 93,180 / -2
    Taiwan, Province Of China
    Hopefully, they will go ahead. I do want to see the last remnants of neoliberal virus to be eradicated in China.

    Besides, to see the US government as crazy as this is fun.


    Opinion: What can China do with someone who 'always bounces back'?

    By CGTN's Wang Shanshan


    In less than 11 hours, China’s response came, with a list of 106 products under 14 categories imported from the United States worth 50 billion US dollars that will be subject to additional tariffs of 25 percent.

    China has made full preparations and will fight back if the US imposes 100 billion US dollars worth of additional tariffs on Chinese imports, said Gao Feng, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce at the press conference, April 6, 2018. / Xinhua Photo

    No time for a break. The US president said Thursday that he had asked his trade representative to consider 100 billion US dollars of additional tariffs on Chinese products. And China responded with the announcement of the readiness to fight "at any cost" and take "comprehensive countermeasures" by its Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    All these actions have happened at a dizzying pace which goes beyond the assumption of most observers. The scale and speed of the intended punishments have escalated the trade conflict to one rarely seen in the world history.

    But wait a second. 100 billion US dollars of additional tariffs, is that a joke? Even the Trump administration could not be sure about that. A spokeswoman for US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer later clarified that they would consider tariffs against 100 billion US dollars in goods, not 100 billion US dollars in actual tariffs. It seems that the mechanism in the White House is the big boss giving a random command at his will and leaving the team scrambling in confusion to figure it out.

    But before the US side could sort it out, China is clear about what to do. It is not patient to just “listen and observe”, as some international observers assume. It’s poised to act. What will China do with someone “who always bounces back”? The term appeared in the October edition of the TIME magazine last year, which portrayed Trump as “deliberately provocative”, and who “has made a habit of using explosive social-media posts to pick fights that stir his supporters, rile his opponents and divert the public’s attention.”

    There is only one choice for China – to bounce back as well. The country has made clear on many occasions that it doesn’t want a trade war, but if forced into one, it will fight to the end, as an old saying goes, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, if not double the size.

    Audience members listen as US President Donald Trump speaks during a round table discussion on tax reform, at White Sulpher Springs Civic Center in White Sulpher Springs, West Virginia, April 5, 2018. /VCG Photo.‍

    Trade threats might be an effective weapon to wield against some countries, but they don't work when you're coming up against China,the world's second largest economy. Trade relations are not gambling, nor Texas Hold 'Em. They embody the complex interplay between economic resources, industry capabilities, trade policies, and frameworks and mechanisms, each of which has their own long history of development.

    The US president declares that he won’t back down until the gap between US imports from China and its exports to China is dramatically narrowed. China won’t back down if the US doesn’t stop picking it as a target of trade sanctions unilaterally, despise international trade rules and mechanisms.

    China doesn’t want to see jobs lost at home, nor hundreds of thousands of jobs in soybeans, cars and airplanes deleted in the United States. China doesn’t want to see financial markets on both sides of the Pacific wobble as investors panic. China doesn’t want consumers in both countries and around world hurt badly.

    Trade wars don’t proceed as expected; and they don't produce desirable results for the one who provokes them, as proven many times by history. China and the rest of the world would love to see the vehicle pulled back from cliff. After all, there is a 60-day window, if the two sides apply wisdom and find a way out.

    (Wang Shanshan is a current affairs commentator at CGTN and former Washington bureau chief of China Radio International, or CRI, with 10 years of research on China-US relations.)
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