Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

China vows retaliation for latest USA tariff threat

China vows retaliation for latest USA tariff threat

US President Donald Trump is likely to publish this week a list of $200 billion in additional Chinese products to be hit with tariffs, possibly as early as later on Tuesday, an administration official said.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, of Utah, called the new levies "reckless" and not "targeted". Other high-profile items such as mobile phones have so far been spared.

China implemented the tariffs in retaliation for a previous package of US tariffs implemented by the Trump administration to combat what it said was intellectual property theft and other unfair trade practices. The index had gained for the past two sessions, having enjoyed a lull from the trade war fears that lashed global markets last week. It stems from Washington's belief that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology and worries that plans for state-led development of Chinese champions in robots and other fields might erode American industrial leadership.

Scott Lincicome, a trade lawyer for the group Republicans Fighting Tariffs, said tariffs on $200 billion would amount to a "multibillion-dollar tax on American businesses and families" and prompt China to retaliate against American exporters. Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against US products. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behavior - behavior that puts the future of the USA economy at risk".

During its trade dispute with the U.S., which has seen the world's two biggest economies impose new import tariffs on each other's goods, China could increase its imports of soybeans from South American countries, Cofco president Yu Xubo said in an interview with the Communist Party's official People's Daily. "What's next is not so much a trade war or even a cold war as the dawn of an ice age in relations between China and the United States".

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United States policy "actually interferes with the process of economic globalization" and "damages the world economic order", charged Li. "This is an appropriate response under the authority of Section 301 to obtain the elimination of China's harmful industrial policies". "It has to resolutely fight back while taking proper measures to help minimise the cost to domestic enterprises and further open up its economy to global investors", it said.

"In part because they have only limited ammunition and in part because it's still early in the process on the USA side", Kuijs said. The prospect of an global trade war has sent jitters through world markets. That prompted fears Beijing, running out of imports for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the USA, might try to disrupt operations of American automakers, retailers and others that see China as a key market.

The U.S. Trade Representative announced the possible second round of tariff hikes on Tuesday targeting a $200 billion list of Chinese goods ranging from burglar alarms to mackerel.

The market slide has been contained by the speculation that the Trump administration could change its mind by the end of August, when the tariffs are due to come into effect, Esposito said.

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