Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Trump seeking tariffs on up to US$60 bln Chinese goods

China’s trade minister Zhong Shan said that the US trade deficit with China is overestimated by about 20% citing research by a panel tasked with investigating the discrepancy between the two nations’ accounts of their trade balance China-US trade war would produce no winners, only catastrophe, Beijing says
Andrew Cummings | 16 March, 2018, 00:57

Given that USA has a trade deficit of Dollars 500 billion per annum, Trump asked a plan for targeting USD 100 billion Chinese imports.

European and USA stocks fell on Tuesday, partly due to concerns about Chinese retaliation should Trump impose the tariffs. He was to also visit three Canadian steel cities this week to reassure workers. "Make trade not war, Mr President", he said. "We are not happy either", Tusk, who chairs summits of European Union leaders, told a news conference in Helsinki.

Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminium to the U.S. market, has been temporarily exempted from the tariffs, along with Mexico.

Prior to announcing the exemption, Trump said he would lift the tariffs off of Canada and Mexico only if a new NAFTA deal were signed.

"Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will be speaking with representatives of the European Union about eliminating the large Tariffs and Barriers they use against the U.S.A.", Trump tweeted on Monday.

Trudeau accused China of flooding global markets with cheap steel on Monday, saying Canada has already taken steps to prevent "dumping". Premier Li Keqiang said last week China aims to expand its economy by around 6.5 per cent this year, the same target that it handily beat in 2017 thanks in part to massive government infrastructure spending and record bank lending.

His comments came amid rising global trade tensions in the wake of a USA decision to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.

U.S. President Donald Trump set import tariffs on Thursday of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, to come into force in 15 days.

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Higher tariffs on these products would "hurt American families", said Hun Quach, a trade lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

"There is a global overcapacity issue and we are very pleased to work with our allies and friends to continue to counter that problem", he said.

A second person, who is an industry lobbyist in Washington familiar with the administration's thinking, said the process was being led by Peter Navarro, an avowed protectionist, and by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who also favors tariffs as a tool to rebalance trade.

"You know when it starts but not how it will turn out" when countries engage in mutual retaliation, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in remarks to reporters after a meeting with Brazilian President Michel Temer.

Brazil has said it will seek exemption from the newly imposed tariffs. That war has been raging for decades and we've been losing.

Asked to respond to Trump's accusations that the EU is imposing barriers to USA automakers, Malmstrom said that "it's hard to argue on Twitter over these issues, but the European Union is a very open market".

Trump was elected on a protectionist agenda, and in the previous year he has pulled the USA out of the 14-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and started talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.

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