‘Totally unacceptable’: Beijing vows retaliation if USA taxes $200bn of Chinese goods
14 July, 2018, 03:37 | Author: Lucille Rivera
China's government has criticised the latest USA threat of a tariff hike as "totally unacceptable" and vowed to retaliate in their escalating trade war.
While China does not export enough goods to the U.S. to match the value of the announced tariffs, combining United States corporate revenue inside China with exports would give America a trade surplus of US$20 billion, according to research from Deutsche Bank cited by Bloomberg. But duties on more than US$200 billion in Chinese imports may push the trade war into territory where it begins to bite meaningfully into growth.
"We will take firm and forceful measures", Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said of the latest round of tariffs but gave no other details of what exactly Beijing plans to do in response. "In order to safeguard the core interests of the country and the fundamental interests of the people, the Chinese government will, as always, have to make the necessary counter-measures".
US President Donald Trump has raised the stakes in the potential US-China trade war.
US officials on Tuesday issued a list of thousands of Chinese imports that the Trump administration wants to target with new tariffs, including hundreds of food products, as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminum.
The products include various food items, chemicals, minerals, tobacco, electronics and office goods.
The move came after U.S. President Donald Trump said last week the United States may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of U.S. imports from China a year ago.
The retaliatory tariffs that China enacted Friday targeted United States cars and major agricultural goods, such as soybeans and meat. In a statement, it called the USA actions "completely unacceptable".
'We can not turn a blind eye to China's mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy'.
Should China choose to sell enough of that debt in the form of bonds, it could drive up the cost of borrowing in the US and cause havoc on worldmarkets.
The proposed tariffs come just days after the Trump administration imposed 25 percent tariffs on more than 800 Chinese products worth about $34 billion, citing what it calls China's unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.Beijing followed suit with an equal amount of levies on USA goods.
"China has no option but to fight fire with fire".
In financial markets, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.5 per cent, while the main indexes in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell more than two per cent.
The S&P 500 dropped 0.7 percent as energy, materials and industrials all fell more than one percent.
"Combining the newly proposed $200 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese goods with the $50 billion already in place or threatened by the Trump administration, the total makes up for about half of the dollar amount in goods imported to the USA from China just past year".
The officials said they tried to target goods that would reduce the harm to USA consumers.
USA officials will hold hearings in late August on the list of targeted products and an administration official said it would take about two months to finalise, at which point Trump would decide whether to go ahead with the levies. But Trump hasn't backed down, arguing that China's unfair trading practices are hurting American workers.
'TARIFFS ARE TAXES' Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a senior member of Trump's Republican Party, said the announcement "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".
The earliest they would come into effect is September. However, China has vowed to match every tariff tit-for-tat, and will likely follow through.
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