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China accuses U.S. of 'trade bullyism' amid escalating dispute

24 September, 2018, 18:25 | Author: Lucille Rivera
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The US has "made a series of false accusations, and used increasing tariffs and other means of economic intimidation, to try to impose its own interests on China by way of extreme pressure", the State Council (cabinet) said in a white paper on trade and economic tensions with Washington.

"We are going to win it", Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said of the trade war on "Fox News Sunday". Trump has threatened another round of tariffs, effectively covering every product the United States imports from China, if Beijing retaliates against Monday's tariffs.

The US is imposing tariffs on an additional $US200 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Monday, on top of the $US50 billion in goods already hit with tariffs. No date has been set for a new round of talks on the trade conflict.

Beijing had prepared to send Vice Premier Liu He, the country's top-ranking economic official, to Washington next week, along with a mid-level delegation to prepare for his visit, the Wall Street Journal reported.

China cancelled talks that were scheduled for this week, and is digging in by prepping stimulus measures to cushion the economy.

Ironically, the document was unveiled during the Mid-Autumn Festival period, a major holiday in China.

Economists warned that a protracted bilateral dispute would eventually harm growth not just in the U.S. and China, but across the broader global economy.

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Defiant in the face of increasing fears about the impact to the USA economy, Trump has threatened to hit all imports from China if it refuses to change policies he says harm United States industry, particularly the theft of American technology.

This week the USA sanctioned a Chinese military procurement organisation, drawing a sharp protest from Beijing and a decision to postpone planned military talks.

Rob Carnell, chief Asia economist at ING, said in a note to clients that in the absence of any incentives Beijing would likely hold off on any further negotiations for now.

Analysts believe that China may be waiting for U.S. mid-term elections early next month for any hints of changes in Washington's policy stance.

"Following President Trump's threat of further escalation, we now think the probability that all imports from China will ultimately be subject to tariffs has risen to 60 percent", the bank's analysts wrote in a research note, quoted by media.

"The Trump administration must get its position straight though - what does it want from China, and who is empowered as a negotiator by President Trump to bring the deal home?"

Though Beijing has not revealed what such steps might be, business executives and analysts say China could withhold exports of certain products to the United States or create more administrative red tape for American companies.

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