China says ready to defend its interests in USA trade spat

26 March, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • EU, Brazil, South Korea and others get temporary exemptions from Trump's steel tariffs

China has made great efforts to be constructive to try and deal with the trade frictions in the face of U.S. provocation, the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily wrote in a commentary.

"It is a typical unilateralism and trade protectionism".

"We have a lot of patriotic customers that want to buy American-made kegs", he said.

Stocks fell sharply on Trump's announcement, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling almost 3 per cent.

Last year, the two countries exchanged $636 billion worth of goods, and American companies such as Boeing and Caterpillar depend heavily on the Chinese market.

"I view them as a friend" Trump said of the Chinese as he started his announcement.

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng attends the news conference following the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC), at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 20, 2018.

"If these tariffs stick and there's no help for us as a downstream business with imported or low-priced kegs coming in, we'll be in deep trouble", American Keg CEO Paul Czachor told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo during an interview on Friday.

Still, some economists warn that if trade war escalates, it could cause long-term pain to the Chinese economy.

China's Commerce Ministry said Beijing was considering a tariff increase of 25 per cent on pork and aluminum scrap, mirroring Trump's 25 per cent charge on steel.

"But Washington was determined to choose rashness and impetuousness, and the necessary effect from this was China's follow-up actions to resolutely protect its own legitimate interests", it said.

Chinese officials warned of potential retaliation and expressed hopes that the United States would avoid taking actions that would hurt both countries.

Before the Trump announcement, China's ambassador to the WTO, Zhang Xiangchen, said China was considering a WTO complaint against the expected package of tariffs, but that was only one option. Electrical goods and tech are the largest USA import item from China. The U.S. late Thursday lowered tensions with some trading partners, announcing exemptions to steel and aluminum tariffs for the European Union, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and several other nations. "The figure I saw is that 62 per cent of U.S. soybeans and 25 per cent of its Boeing planes ended up in China".

The response by China's commerce ministry to the latest U.S trade measures is too weak, and should target USA soybeans, former Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei said on Saturday. -China Business Council told Reuters China "has been promising market-opening measures and protection of intellectual property for some time, but what the USA business community is waiting for is action".

Also at the forum, He Lifeng, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said China "will deepen supply-side structural reforms and work hard to eliminate ineffective supply".

What the Trump administration appears to be doing is putting "bargaining chips" on the table for coming talks with Beijing, said Wallace Cheng, China managing director for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. Lower costs still give China's exporters a competitive advantage, which means that increased tariffs will make China-made goods less attractive to US consumers, said Yang Weixiao, an economist at Founder Securities.

Manufacturing would be opened up to foreign investors with no requirement for technology transfer, Li said, addressing a long-time sore point for foreign companies.



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