Thursday, 20 September, 2018

China-US tariff row: Virginia farmers will hurt

Trump threatens China with $100 billion in new tariffs China-US tariff row: Virginia farmers will hurt
Andrew Cummings | 07 April, 2018, 14:00

The move comes a day after China issued a $50 billion list of USA goods including soybeans and small aircraft for possible tariff hikes in an escalating and potentially damaging dispute.

Beijing has announced a $50 billion list of US goods for possible tariff hikes in a spiraling technology dispute with Washington.

Beijing confirmed a 25 per cent levy on USA vehicles and "soft" agricultural products including beef, soybeans, wheat and orange juice, which sent stocks in both countries down.

However, it did not announce a date for their implementation.

"The actual tariff process takes months before (anything) is enacted", Schatz says.

China slammed the move as "unilateralist and protectionist", and said it violated the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

And Beijing has the economic equivalent of a nuclear weapon, holding more than one trillion dollars' worth of USA debt. The tariffs will also have a chilling effect on the substantial growth that California's agricultural exports-including wine-have experienced in China throughout the past decade.

So it's possible the two countries will walk back from the edge.

US President Donald Trump has ratcheted up the trade war rhetoric with China, saying he was considering an additional $100 billion in tariffs on the country, the media reported.

On April 3, the US Trade Representative (USTR) had announced 25 per cent tariffs on imports from China as an initial means to obtain the elimination of policies and practices identified in its investigation.

"We don't want a trade war but we aren't afraid of fighting one".

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"Unfortunately, China has chosen to respond thus far with threats to impose unjustified tariffs on billions of dollars in US exports, including our agricultural products".

On Wednesday, Donald Trump tweeted, "When you're already $500 Billion DOWN, you can't lose!"

"The Chinese government can not artificially intervene in the number of a deficit of surplus".

It could still take other measures - like curbing package tours or student transfers to the USA, or steps against American companies' operations in China. Trump said his latest decision for additional tariffs was in response to China's retaliatory action. But they had calmed down Wednesday and Thursday on hopes the United States and China would find a diplomatic solution. Shares of US aircraft maker Boeing, a major supplier of aircraft to China, dropped more than 5% during pre-market trading in NY.

China retaliated by announcing similar import tariff on American products.

The president said he was acting in response to China's announcement of plans to introduce new import taxes on $50 billion worth of American goods.

"It must be said, we have been forced into taking this action", a deputy commerce minister, Wang Shouwen, said at a news conference. Traders' initial takeaway was that it signaled an escalation in the trade fight between the world's two biggest economies.

China countered Trump's plan announced on Tuesday to slap tariffs on 1,333 of the country's products - such as semiconductors and lithium batteries - by announcing duties on a variety of agriculture products, including soybeans, the second-most-valuable United States crop.

"What we're talking about on both sides is a fraction of 1 per cent of both economies", he said.

On the U.S. list were Chinese electric and conventional cars, flat panel TV screens, trains, robots, commercial ovens, snowblowers, lithium batteries, aerospace and engineering parts, among many high technology and value-added products.

U.S. soybeans sold to China account for 62 per cent of its total soybean exports, with 32.85 million tonnes of soybeans exported to China past year, or 34.4 per cent of China's total imports, Zhu said. But he's representing China, and I'm representing the USA.

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