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US shoppers and Chinese suppliers face hit from Trump levy

25 March 2018, 12:44 | Gina Pena

US shoppers and Chinese suppliers face hit from Trump levy

China might hike tariffs on US pork and other goods

"And then we expect the U.S.to retaliate further".

After President Donald Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on products including Chinese steel, Beijing responded Friday with a threat to slap an equal 25 percent charge on USA products such as pork, and a 15 percent tariff on such things as wine, apples, ethanol and stainless-steel pipe.

In response, China is reportedly set to impose new a tariffs ranging from 15% to 25% on 128 different USA goods including fresh fruit, wine, modified ethanol, steel pipe, and more. It sets up yet another dramatic deadline.

It was the boldest example to date of Trump's "America first" agenda, the culmination of his longstanding view that weak USA trade policies and enforcement have hollowed out the nation's workforce and ballooned the federal deficit.

However, Rosentreich adds, markets could be "overreacting" to Trump's threats to start a trade war. Trump, on March 8, signed proclamations to impose a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium, causing mounting dissent among trading partners around the world. It gave no indication of a possible response but a foreign ministry spokeswoman said Beijing was "fully prepared to defend" its interests.

"China does not want a trade war with anyone", said the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC.

Tokyo's main Nikkei share index was down more than 4 percent Friday, while share indexes in Shanghai and Seoul fell by more than 3 percent, following similar declines on Wall Street overnight.

The dollar dipped to 104.90 yen as investors shifted into the Japanese currency, which is viewed as a "safe haven" from risk.

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

Trump argues that previous US presidents were way too soft on China.

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Business groups mostly agree that something needs to be done about China's aggressive push in technology, but they worry that China will retaliate by targeting US exports of aircraft, soybeans and other products and start a tit-for-tat trade war of escalating sanctions between the world's two biggest economies.

Despite Trump's confident words, business groups and Republican lawmakers are anxious his tariffs could undercut actions they have welcomed in his first year.

On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that any attempt to separate any part of China from the nation would be "doomed to failure", a message implicitly directed at Taiwan and the U.S. Xi said China would continue to seek peaceful unification with the island, from which it separated amid civil war in 1949, although China has refused to rule out using force to bring Taiwan under its control. Though Beijing's actions so far are seen by analysts as measured, there may be more to come.

"The upshot is that today's (U.S.) tariffs amount to no more than a slap on the wrist for China", Mark Williams, Chief Asia Economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note.

Neither China's Foreign nor Defence Ministries immediately responded to a request for comment. The European Union and other trade partners dismiss that as an excuse and say the US merely wants to give its companies a boost.

"The Chinese side urges the United States side to resolve the concerns of the Chinese side as soon as possible", it said.

"They also jeopardize worldwide trade order and world economic stability", it said.

"Trump's tariff plans have created uncertainty and put global stock markets under pressure", says Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, a United Kingdom -based investment firm.

US diplomat Jason Mack called for a vote on China's text on "mutually beneficial cooperation", which was then easily adopted by the 47-member forum.



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