China tit-for-tat tariffs fuel trade war fears

Anna Jefferson
April 7, 2018

The United States' proposed list of $50 billion in duties on Chinese goods is aimed at forcing Beijing to address what Washington says is deeply entrenched theft of USA intellectual property and forced technology transfer from us companies.

These moves caused concern among investors, and the Dow Jones dropped more than 450 points as a result.

Farming equipment maker Deere lost almost $10 per share at its lowest.

The Economic Times explains that the commercial relationship between both countries "is the largest in the world", which presses them to reach an agreement to avoid harming the businesses that depend on both.

China said Friday it was ready to pay "any cost" in a possible trade war with the U.S., after President Donald Trump warned he was considering $100 billion in extra tariffs. Others noted the two countries have too much to lose from a trade war.

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"The seeds of a more serious conflict are there", said Adam Slater, lead economist at Oxford Economics, a consulting firm.

Factor in trade in services and the actual U.S trade deficit with China was $337 billion.

Asian stocks were mainly higher during the opening skirmishes Thursday, taking their cue from a stronger session on Wall Street as investors judged recent trade war fears were overblown.

Mr Trump has also threatened to levy a tax on European Union cars if the bloc does not remove tariffs and trade barriers on various goods. The Nasdaq composite rose 49 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,990.

Minnesota alone exports more than $2 billion in soybeans annually, with China as the state's top export market. He said that will stir up political pressure against the trade sanctions.

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"Though US soybean supplies made up 35% of China's soybean imports, it can easily be substituted with more Brazilian soybean supplies".

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC in the morning that he expects trade actions between China and the USA will likely lead to a negotiated deal. Britain's FTSE 100 surged 2.4 percent. Either trade wars are not as bad for stocks as numerous market pundits believe or perhaps investors are not as anxious that tariffs will lead to all-out trade combat. Companies in the S&P 500 are expected to average earnings growth of 17.3 percent, according to FactSet.

While Beijing's claims that Washington is the aggressor and spurring global protectionism, China's trading partners for years have complained that it abuses WTO rules, and practices unfair industrial policies at home that lock foreign companies out of crucial sectors with the intent of creating domestic champions. On Wednesday, Facebook closed with a small decline, but other big tech names such as Apple and Microsoft closed higher.

Wholesale gasoline stayed at $1.98 a gallon.

Bond prices turned lower. It fell 10 cents to $68.02 a barrel on Wednesday.

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