Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Trade War: China warns U.S. to step back 'from brink of precipice'

Hong Kong and Chinese share markets slumped today as tit-for-tat threats between the United States and China. — Reuters pic Hong Kong and Chinese share markets slumped today as tit-for-tat threats between the United States and China. — Reuters pic
Kelvin Reese | 24 March, 2018, 14:14

If the tariffs and counter-tariffs reduce economic growth in the United States, the Fed is likely to raise rates at a slower pace.

China urged the United States to "pull back from the brink", while the Chinese commerce ministry unveiled plans to levy additional duties on up to $3 billion of USA imports in response to the steel and aluminium tariffs.

"Nothing should be addressed when it is with a gun to your head", he said at the end of an European Union summit in Brussels. "Any trade war will only lead to a lose-lose situation". Meanwhile, World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo called for cooler heads to prevail, saying in a statement that new trade barriers would "jeopardise the global economy".

Investors also sold some of the market's biggest recent winners.

It followed a seven-month investigation by USTR into allegations China violates United States intellectual property, under the seldom-used section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act.

Although the USTR was given 15 days by Trump to propose a list of Chinese products that will be targeted, China's commerce ministry has already threatened to take legal action against the USA through the World Trade Organization.

"Part of the reason, frankly, that we're able to do that is the fact that we have the tariffs on steel and the tariffs on aluminium".

Stocks around the world have plunged as investors feared that a trade conflict between the U.S. and China would escalate.

The exemptions will expire May 1 unless the allies are able to negotiate "satisfactory alternative means" to address what the administration calls the threat to national security resulting from the current USA levels of steel and aluminum imports.

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Hua said that a trade war, though undesired, would not deter China from its progress and development.

It also would take a lot more than tariffs on $60 billion worth of exports from China to inflict significant pain on the government, Scissors said.

The response from China was measured, but more retaliatory actions could be in the works.

"From China's perspective, it absolutely does not want to see a trade war". "Trump is negotiating. He's pushing back on the Chinese, and the Chinese will push back".

Trump's Thursday announcement of the new duties was accompanied by the 215-page USTR's Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act investigation report into China's technology strategy, which, among other things, accuses Beijing of engaging in cyber espionage, intellectual property theft and pursuing aggressive investments and acquisitions in the US.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer indicated the industries could include aerospace, maritime and rail transport equipment, and new energy vehicles.

Trump has given his administration 15 days to come up with a list of tariffs, after which there would be 30 days of public consultation, and nearly certainly intense lobbying from within the United States.

Before the tariffs become final, there will be a 30-day comment period, the White House said. For example, South Korea's largest trading partner is China.

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