United States and China escalate trade war as total sum levied reaches $100bn

24 August, 2018, 07:43 | Author: Kevin Carter

It's harder for China to match this latest threat dollar-for-dollar because the United States exports far less to China.

Beijing has denied USA allegations that it systematically forces the unfair transfer of US technology and has said that it adheres to WTO rules.

The 25 percent duties apply to US$16 billion of goods from each side, including automobiles and metal scrap from the United States and Chinese-made factory machinery and electronic components.

Economists reckon that every $100 billion in imports hit by tariffs would reduce global trade by around 0.5 per cent.

The tax targeted 279 Chinese products, including chemical products, motorcycles, speedometers and antennas, the U.S. media reported.

In the first round of tariff hikes, President Trump imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports on July 6.

The Trump administration says its aggressive stance is to pressure Beijing to change policies that allow the theft of United States technology and undercut American producers.

U.S. Treasury officials have been working on a revised list of American demands in the lead-up to this week's meetings, according to people familiar with the U.S. preparations. Eventually, the combination of higher prices for consumer goods, mounting job losses in tariff-affected industries, and slower economic growth should create political push-back against the Trump administration's trade war.

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They gave no sign of progress toward a settlement over USA complaints that Beijing steals technology and its industry development plans violate Chinese free-trade commitments. China, which has a trade surplus of Dollars 375 billion in its USD 636 billion bilateral trade with the U.S., is trying to retaliate in the same measure though its officials maintain that Beijing is reluctantly following the suit.

The two sides went ahead with the second bout of tariff against each other even as their officials held talks in Washington to find a way out amid the increasing pessimism over an impending solution to end the trade dispute.

Even as China and the USA trade tariffs, a Chinese delegation meeting with their American counterparts for trade talks this week in Washington, D.C. And a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson expressed guarded optimism about how they're going.

However, Trump on Monday told Reuters in an interview he did not "anticipate much" from this week's talks.

CGTN did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the removal.

In a statement today, China's Commerce Ministry said the latest tariffs were evidence that the U.S. was "remaining obstinate". China has said its own tariffs on a list of US$16 billion worth of imports from the United States would be effective at 12.01pm local time.

USA commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said China would not be able to continue to retaliate at the same pace as the United States, since "we have many more bullets than they do". In response, the Chinese delegation could this week offer a private pledge not to let the currency weaken further as long as negotiations continue, said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. That effort, however, has been resisted by other parts of the Trump administration and it is unclear whether they will be ready to be presented to the visiting Chinese delegation.

China's list of 333 USA product categories hit with duties includes coal, copper scrap, fuel, steel products, buses and medical equipment.

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