Tuesday, 26 March, 2019

Trump admin. approves $50 billion tariffs on China

Trump levies $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, and Beijing retaliates Beijing Ready to Retaliate Against US Tariffs on Chinese Goods
Jeannette Daniel | 20 June, 2018, 09:32

Friday's list of goods on which China is to impose tariffs is longer than an initial list of 106 published on April 4, but their total value remains unchanged, at $50 billion.

Soybeans are among hundreds of USA products China has singled out for tariffs.

The Chinese government said Trump's tariffs were "damaging" relations and "undermining the world trade order".

The stakes just got higher in what many worry is a burgeoning trade war. "You get producers who are worse off, farmers who are worse off and you don't even achieve your goal".

Trump has also triggered a trade fight with Canada, Mexico and the European Union over steel and aluminum and has threatened to impose duties on European cars.

Saturday's move by China follows a Friday announcement from the president of more USA tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports of products focusing on China's industrial sector, making good on a threat the White House has been making for months.

A Chinese government website posted a list of seafood products that will face the tariffs, and it included live, fresh and frozen lobster. After receiving public feedback, it removed 515 from the blacklist and added 284 others.

Beijing's countermeasures closely mirrored Washington's, with 545 American exports, also valued at $34 billion, facing punitive duties as of July 6, including agricultural products and vehicles, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Meanwhile, the other United States dollars 16 billion worth of Chinese products will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process.

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Explaining why he believed Trump's decision was the right one, despite Beijing pledging it would retaliate over the decision to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50bn of Chinese goods, Schumer said the US had previously been taken advantage of, The Hill reported.

China's Commerce Ministry released a statement early Saturday morning insisting the country did not want a trade war, but would nonetheless "fight back vigorously" now that the U.S.is starting one. Soybean prices were already falling before Friday's announcement.

"It generally focuses on products from industrial sectors that contribute to or benefit from the "Made in China 2025" industrial policy, which include industries such as aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials, and automobiles", USTR announced in a statement Friday. Televisions and pharmaceuticals were removed from the original tariff list. Spokesman Lu called the US tariffs "outdated and regressive". The impact won't be as visible as it would be if consumer products were taxed directly.

Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association, cautioned that the tariffs don't go into effect until early July. Among these are outright cyber-theft.

China has quickly released some details on the retaliatory tariffs it plans to impose on USA goods.

The additional tariffs on Chinese goods in the United States will "substantially change" the trade conditions of these products, also affecting relevant producers and trade companies as well as the production and operation of the upstream and downstream industries, an official in charge of the Office of the Customs Tariff Commission. Despite that Beijing's industry development tactics, which are claimed to violate its free-trade pledges and hurt American companies, are straining the official ties between the two countries. This includes stepped-up USA "freedom of navigation" maneuvers in the South China Sea, sending United States naval vessels through waters claimed by China, and sales of arms to governments with longstanding conflicts with Beijing.

And though the US and China reached a "consensus" at high-level trade talks led by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in May, Trump did not hesitate to trample on it.

Vegetables took up 14.6 percent of China's imports from the U.S.in 2016, while fuel was 2.3 percent, and transportation products - mostly airplanes - accounted for 9.6 percent, according to the World Bank. But critics dismissed that agreement as vague.

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