China hits back on Trump tariffs as Europe off hook for now

24 March, 2018, 12:35 | Author: Gregory Stephens

Trump, who earlier this month announced steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States, also wants the Chinese to take action that would lower the $375 billion goods trade deficit that the United States is running with China.

"This is an opening gambit by China, signalling that the imposition of tariffs by the United States will elicit what Beijing views as a proportionate retaliatory response", said Eswar Prasad, a former chief of the International Monetary Fund's China division and now a professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

China has always said it will not hold talks with the USA within the framework of the Section 301 probe, Chen Fuli, director-general of the commerce ministry's department of treaty and law, told reporters.

"Even without the tariffs, with such low prices, we will use more domestic pork for our Chinese business", said Luis Chein, a company director at WH Group, China's top pork producer and its biggest importer of USA pork.

China's newly-appointed economic czar told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Saturday that Beijing is ready to defend its interests after President Donald Trump announced plans to slap tariffs on almost $50 billion Chinese imports.

In addition to the tariffs, the United States also plans to impose new investment restrictions, take action against China at the World Trade Organisation and the Treasury Department also will propose additional measures.

State media have slammed Mr Trump's latest move, and said China will fight back against the US' misplaced attempts at shifting blame for its economic woes.

China's ambassador to the USA wouldn't rule out the possibility of the Asian nation scaling back purchases of Treasuries in response to tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump.

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom called the move on metal "highly unfortunate unilateral action, which goes against agreed global rules".


Trump, however, appears intent on fulfilling election promises to reduce the record US trade deficit with China. And China has struck back.

At least two trading houses have started buying more rapeseed meal, an alternative ingredient used to make animal feed, in case the oilseed is a target of retaliation by Beijing, sources at the company familiar with the strategies said.

Trump is planning to impose the tariffs over what his administration says is misappropriation of U.S. intellectual property.

Trade war will harm consumer interest and financial market interests, she said, pointing out the big plunge in the stock market, which said is a "big vote of no confidence in U.S. actions". "We are confident and capable of dealing with any challenges".

"We could end up replacing the U.S.as a supplier to China if China imposes restrictions on USA products". Hours earlier, Trump signed an order that also could result in restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States, saying it would be the "first of many" trade actions.

The initial Chinese response may not be as severe as many fear but the conflict could easily escalate, said Robert Manning, an expert on US-China relations at the Atlantic Council in Washington. "It is hoped that the US side will be able to make a swift decision and not to drag bilateral economic and trade relations into danger". Chinese companies will be less likely to import these highly taxed goods from the USA and look to other countries, leading US industries to lose business.

"Until the Trump administration articulates those concerns and how China can address them, it's going to be very, very hard for China to make those changes", said Parker.

Washington doesn't believe it needs to give Chinese leaders another list of requests because they already know what the United States wants, said a senior U.S. official.

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