Trump to Lay Out Line on China Trade

Anna Jefferson
September 18, 2018

However, after the initial falls there were signs that some investors were ready to look past the dispute, with European markets reducing their losses to trade close to flat by 0830 GMT.

"If the United States launches any new tariff measures, China will have to take countermeasures to firmly ensure our legitimate rights and interests", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a regular press briefing on Monday.

Collection of 10 per cent tariffs on thousands of goods will start on September 24 but the rate will increase to 25 per cent by the end of the year, allowing U.S. companies some time to adjust their supply chains to other countries, a senior administration official said.

The ten percent tariff will take effect on September 24, and rise to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.

"For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies", he said. "I think that kind of tactic is not going to work with China", Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of China's securities regulator, said at a conference in the port city of Tianjin. It will cost jobs and economic growth even though China is now far less reliant on exports than it once was.

However, the initial list announced in July was reduced by 300 product lines, sparing consumer electronics like smart watches and bluetooth devices, and child safety products such as high chairs, auto seats and play pens, among others. No items were added, the officials said.

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Trump administration is seeking systemic changes from China which Beijing has failed to do. While US companies could establish alternative supply chains, he said, it would take as much as three to five years for many businesses.

Wall Street tumbled ahead of Mr Trump's announcement, with consumer and technology stocks taking the biggest hit. And China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president's supporters in the US farm belt. China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president's supporters in the USA farm belt.

The President's decision threatens to upend the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough with Chinese negotiators.

The White House said in a statement that Trump had been clear that he and his administration would continue to take action to address China's trade practices and encouraged Beijing to address USA concerns. "My administration will not remain idle when those interests are under attack".

In fact, tariffs are taxes that are paid by Americans who import goods from overseas.

The comments by Lou Jiwei, a former finance minister and chairman of China's sovereign wealth fund, follow reports regulators are squeezing American companies by slowing down customs approvals and stepping up environmental and other inspections. Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods.

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But if the Trump administration enacts a further round of tariffs on $267 billion in goods, engulfing all remaining USA imports from China, the iPhone and its competitors would not likely be spared.

While there are measures China can take to retaliate, it is limited by the imbalance between its exports to the United States and its imports from the U.S., which amount to only about $US130 billion a year.

The lack of unity within the United States administration on trade isn't new - Chinese and American officials have held a series of talks over the dispute, and reached at least one agreement which was subsequently abandoned by the president.

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, speaks during a meeting at the Economic Club of New York, Sept. 17, 2018, in New York.

At the White House, Trump wrongly said that "China is now paying us billions of dollars in tariffs" and he celebrated the Treasury Department collecting "tremendous amounts of money, which is great for our country".

The administration revised the list of goods that will be hit by tariffs following a commentary period and public hearings last month.

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