United States businesses to lobby against Trump's tariffs

14 September, 2018, 08:52 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Steven Mnuchin Wilbur Ross

"The Chinese side believes that the escalation of the trade conflict is not in the interest of either party", Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a regular news briefing.

The negative impact of the tariffs on USA companies has been "clear and far reaching", according to the joint survey by AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai published on Thursday.

But Larry Kudlow, head of the White House Economic Council, said Wednesday on the Fox Business Network that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited senior Chinese officials to rekindle the talks. "If we meet, we meet?" "And so, Secretary Mnuchin, who is the team leader with China, has apparently issued an invitation".

According to many recent reports, Taiwanese companies are already beginning to shy away from the Chinese market because of the likelihood that their products manufactured in China will be targeted by the Trump administration.

Asian shares advanced on Thursday on hopes that a deal could be struck in the bitter tariff dispute between the world's two largest economies.

The trade war has already contributed to sell-offs in China's stock markets and currency.

Sixty-four percent of companies that responded to the AmCham survey, which was conducted between August 29 and September 5, said the first round of tariffs that Trump slapped on $50 billion in Chinese imports this year have negatively affected their operations, while 63 percent said the same about the equal amount of duties Beijing imposed in retaliation.

"If nearly a half of American companies anticipate a strong negative impact from the next round of US tariffs, then the USA administration will be hurting the companies it should be helping", he said. It was unclear whether any US-China talks would delay the duties. The White House has accused China of forcing USA companies to partner with local firms and then stealing their intellectual property, among other grievances.

"I can't give you many details because there aren't many details".

Trump said there was more pressure on China to make a deal, pointing to their shrinking economy.

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But Kudlow was non-committal over the chances of a breakthrough, adding: "I guarantee nothing".

But US firms are feeling whiplash from both sides as they sell and make goods in China, with Washington's border tax increase and Beijing's counter-punch hurting more than 60% of businesses, according to the poll.

Envoys from the two countries last met August 22 in Washington but reported no progress.

The invitation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The US and China have slapped tariffs on $50bn of one another's goods this year in an escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies.

China said on Thursday that it welcomed an invitation by the United States to hold a new round of trade talks, as Washington prepares to further escalate the US-China trade war with tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

"China has indeed received an invitation from the USA and holds a welcoming attitude to it".

AmCham's survey results come a day after more than 60 USA industry groups launched a coalition called Americans For Free Trade, which aims to halt the White House's proposed tariffs.

More than 430 companies responded to the survey between August 29 and September 5, which Ken Jarrett, president of AmCham Shanghai, said had been conducted in part to provide AmCham with data for meetings with members of congress later this month.

More than 60 per cent of USA companies polled said the US tariffs were already affecting their business operations, while a similar percentage said tariffs by China on US goods were having an effect on business.

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