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Stock Market Sinks as US, China Trade War Fears Ramp Up
05 April 2018, 01:00 | Melanie Burgess
Stock Market Sinks as US, China Trade War Fears Ramp Up
In 2017 alone, US footwear companies and USA consumers paid almost $3 billion in these hidden taxes.
Following an investigation, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said it found the practices of China's government related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation to be discriminatory.
Oil has been struggling to rise to above the highs of January as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' effort to drain a global glut has been undercut by surging US production.
U.S. PresidentDonald Trump is instigating a range of tariffs on Chinese goods aimed at penalizing China for alleged theft of intellectual property.
"A Commerce Ministry spokesman said in a statement: "[Chinese tariffs would] balance out the losses sustained by China through the United States' increased tariffs on steel and aluminum imports... "Including footwear on the list was a very real and substantial threat to footwear workers and consumers across the country, and we are very pleased that we can take a deep sigh of relief".
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There have been efforts in Congress to force all e-commerce companies to collect state sales tax, but Amazon already does that. The postal service's contract with Amazon must be approved by regulators and must generate a profit for the service.
While critics have complained the administration's policies risk starting a trade war, Trump argued in a post on Twitter that the war had already been lost.
These large, global US companies do a lot of business in China and overseas, which makes their sales and profits vulnerable if the two countries can't work out a deal before the threatened tariffs, which are still under review, go into effect.
Markets appeared unconvinced on Wednesday, with stocks plunging as investors began fearing a trade war that could derail the current economic upturn.
"China's response was tougher than what the market was expecting - investors didn't foresee the country levying additional tariffs on sensitive and important products such as soybeans and airplanes", said Gao Qi, Singapore-based strategist at Scotiabank.
The Chinese action was, in turn, in response to the Trump administration's own $50-billion list of Chinese products that face U.S. tariffs over Beijing's alleged theft of intellectual property and technology. The U.S.is the second-largest supplier of soybeans to China, after Brazil, and soybean farmers a year ago sent $14 billion worth of the crop to China.
China's list of 106 U.S goods have been released and for the Republicans, not only will the prospect of falling demand for U.S autos and Boeing aircraft weigh heavily, but also the impact on farmers, with the mid-West having been a strong Republican stronghold in the 2016 Presidential Election.
On Wall Street, stocks sank as worry about trade tensions was compounded by heightened public scrutiny of tech companies in the United States and Europe. The tariffs specifically targeted industries that fell under the Chinese government's Made in China 2025 plan identified as areas of growth for the country. But Washington is expected to publish a new list of products for Chinese products, which probably will be postponed. "But we are not afraid of it, and we will resolutely fight to the end if someone insists on a war".
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