Friday, 14 December, 2018

USA considers increasing planned tariffs on $270b in Chinese imports

Washington has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34billion Washington has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34billion
Andy Castillo | 04 August, 2018, 22:56

Last month, the USA proposed 10 percent tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese products - from parachutes to sardines - in response to China's retaliation.

China has been quick to retaliate against most U.S. tariff actions, although the Ministry of Commerce is yet to respond to Wednesday's announcement.

The threat of US auto tariffs was placed on hold July 26 after Trump and Juncker agreed to refrain from "unilateral actions" while European Union and the United States endeavor to negotiate a trade pact.

"If the USA side takes steps to further escalate the situation, we will definitely take countermeasures to resolutely safeguard our legitimate and legal rights and interests", said foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Wednesday.

Daniel Ujczo, a lawyer with Dickinson Wright PLLC in Columbus, Ohio, said the US has a big incentive to smooth over the differences with friendly countries and get the tit-for-tat tariffs removed.

China appealed to Washington on Thursday to stay calm and "correct its attitude" following a USA threat to raise tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy.

So far, the United States has imposed duties on $34 billion of imports from China as part of a first tranche of sanctions on $50 billion of goods.

"The Trump Administration continues to urge China to stop its unfair practices, open its market and engage in true market competition", Lighthizer said Wednesday, adding that, "Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against USA workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses". U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said his agency is seeking comments from industry about the proposed tariffs, with a deadline of September 5.

"He's going to continue to put the pressure on China".

Secretary of State Pompeo Meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister in Singapore
Pompeo discussed the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson , who has been in custody in Turkey since 2016 on terror charges. The United States has also been seeking the release of three locally employed embassy staff detained in Turkey.

The U.S. had threatened an additional $200 billion with levies of 10%, a level the administration may raise to 25% in a Federal Register notice in coming days, one of the people said. Beijing retaliated with matching tariffs on the same amount of US exports to China.

China is trying to seek an "equal" position in future talks with the United States with today's retaliation announcement, said Gai Xinzhe, analyst at the Bank of China's Institute of International Finance in Beijing. China upped the ante on Thursday in response to the Trump administration's latest move.

Asked about communication between the two countries on the dispute, Geng said China had "always upheld using dialogue and consultations to handle trade frictions", but that dialogue must be based on mutual respect and equality.

China's foreign ministry called this "blackmail" and warned that policies like this would "only produce the opposite of the desired result".

"China is forced to take countermeasures", said a ministry statement.

In a statement, Lighthizer said the proposed higher tariff is meant to provide the administration with additional options to encourage Beijing to change its trade practices. Furthermore, the massive, debt-financed tax cut enacted last December will only drive domestic consumption and make US assets more attractive to foreign buyers, all of which will widen the USA trade deficit much more than the limited tariffs imposed so far will shrink it.

Ed Bryztwa, director of global trade at the American Chemistry Council, was especially concerned about the additional tariffs, even before the threat of more than doubling the tariff rate.

The ministry said timing of the implementation of the new tariffs on U.S. goods would depend on the actions of the US. -China Business Council, said a 10 percent tariff on these products is already problematic, but more than doubling that to 25 percent would be much worse.

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