Trump ratchets up tariff talk as key week looms for trade

18 September, 2018, 03:14 | Author: Regina Silva

The United States is set to impose another raft of tariffs on China, targeting roughly $200 billion Dollars in imported goods from China as US President Trump tail-chases his way into an even deeper trade war with the Asian superpower.

Economists at UBS Group AG say even a 10 per cent tariff would slow the USA economy in the fourth quarter by enough to stop the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates again in December.

Sohn said he thinks that China will retaliate against every USA tariff and that the back-and-forth sparring will escalate until the U.S. is taxing all Chinese imports - US$524 billion (NZ$798 billion) a year ago. He is expected to announce this week that the United States will impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, a move that people familiar with the negotiations say could scuttle trade talks that are planned with the Chinese next week.

The U.S. had already imposed tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.

Trump has demanded that China cut its $375 billion trade surplus with the United States, end policies aimed at acquiring USA technologies and intellectual property, and roll back high-tech industrial subsidies.

China wants talks based on 'mutual trust, ' said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang. "My administration will not remain idle when those interests are under attack".

China's yuan currency CNY=CFXS has weakened by about 6.0 percent against the USA dollar since mid-June, offsetting the 10 percent tariff rate by a considerable margin.

If China doesn't make concessions, the new tariffs will then jump to 25 percent, a senior administration official said.

"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.

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The tough talk follows reports China is deliberately reducing exports to the USA by slowing down customs approvals and stepping up environmental and other inspections.

"Tariffs are a tax on American families, period", said Hun Quach", RILA's vice president for worldwide trade.

Trump has also complained about the US' gaping trade deficit - US$336 billion (NZ$511 billion) a year ago - with China, its biggest trading partner.

In May, in fact, it looked briefly as if Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had brokered a truce built around a Chinese offer to buy enough American farm products and liquefied natural gas to put a dent in the trade deficit.

"We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly". But Trump quickly backed away from the truce.

'Only knowing the pain of fighting will stop the war and cause (the United States) to negotiate seriously, ' said Lou.

Kudlow laid out general demands for China - whose economic reforms, he said were moving in the wrong direction.

Trump's tariffs on China raise costs and create uncertainty for companies that have built supply chains that span the Pacific Ocean.

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