Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

China tariffs take effect in deepening trade row

As U.S.-China tit-for-tat tariffs approach here's what could happen Workers transfer bags of soybeans at a port in Nantong in China's eastern Jiangsu province on March 22
Kelvin Reese | 09 July, 2018, 01:18

China on Friday accused the United States of starting "the biggest trade war in economic history" as the two sides imposed steep new tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other's exports.

China, saying USA officials have violated World Trade Organization rules, said it had no choice but to respond with tariffs of its own.

Soybean growers in the Midwest are caught in the middle of an escalating trade war between the US and China.

There was no evidence of any last-minute negotiations between USA and Chinese officials, business sources in Washington and Beijing said.

The statement added: "China had promised not to fire the first shot, but the country is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people ..."

A possible prolonged trade war may also lead to slowdown in global economy, ultimately affecting Bangladesh's export, which is concentrated on single sector -readymade garment items.

Hours before Washington's deadline for the tariffs to take effect, President Trump upped the ante on its largest trading partner, warning that the U.S. may ultimately target more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - that's roughly the total of United States imports from China previous year. Trump has continued to threaten Beijing with escalating tariffs on as much as $450 billion worth of Chinese goods.

After months of threats between the two countries, Friday's tariffs are the first to actually go into effect, said North Dakota Trade Office Executive Director Simon Wilson. It outlined a limited way for US-based companies to get some products excluded from tariffs if those tariffs cause "severe economic harm" and the products being hit aren't available from sources outside China or identifiable as "benefiting from China's industrial policies".

Last month, the European Union imposed tariffs on American goods worth United States dollars 3 billion such as yachts, bourbon and motorcycles.

With these new protectionist policies, President Trump's main goal is to reduce the flow of Chinese imports and push American consumers to buy domestically-made products.

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There was no sign of renewed negotiations between USA and Chinese officials before Friday, business sources in Washington and Beijing said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said "retaliatory tariffs" took effect.

"We continue to believe that solutions can be found that do not involve tariffs and a trade war that will hurt all of rural America", Armstrong said.

China retaliated against the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese products Friday by imposing $34 billion in tariffs on hundreds of American goods, including soybeans. "No one will emerge as a victor from trade war, it benefits no one".

Wang Erda, a professor at the Dalian University of Technology who has researched agricultural economics in USA farming states, said that it was important for China to boost its "self-reliance and develop other sources of imports".

"Imposing 25% tariffs on USA whiskeys could put the brakes on an American export success story", Christine LoCascio, senior vice president for global trade at the Council, said in a statement.

He said farmers have spent the past several decades working to gain access to global markets.

Mr Trump said: "You have another 16 [billion dollars] in two weeks, and then, as you know, we have $200bn in abeyance and then after the $200bn, we have $300bn in abeyance. OK?"

The bank estimates that every $US100b of imports affected by the tariffs represents about 0.5 percent of global trade and 0.1 percent of global GDP. "We will work with other countries around the world to jointly safeguard free trade and the multilateral system".

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