New tariffs on China take effect today

25 September, 2018, 07:08 | Author: Regina Silva
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LONDON - European and Asian markets were lower on Monday after China said it won't negotiate with the United States on trade if the Trump administration continues to threaten higher tariffs.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed that the United States would emerge victorious in an intensifying trade war with China, a day before Washington imposes $200 billion (R2 863 300 000 000,00) worth of tariffs.

Mr Trump has repeatedly threatened higher tariffs on the remaining Chinese imports should Beijing retaliate against Monday's round.

The latest escalation in the US-China trade war came after China cancelled further trade talks with Washington.

The charges came in a white paper published by China's cabinet, the State Council, and claimed the U.S. had turned toward "unilateralism, protectionism and economic hegemonism" as Trump pursues his "America First" agenda.

On Monday, US imposed a 10 percent tax on 6,000 Chinese goods, ranging from rice and textiles to clothes and manufacturing goods.

"The trade war is now a reality", Fitch chief economist Brian Coulton said in the release.

Fitch Ratings has cut its growth estimates for China and the world for 2019.

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Imports of American goods previous year totalled $153.9 billion while the United States bought Chinese goods worth $429.8 billion, according to Chinese customs data.

In announcing the rates for the retaliatory duties last week, the government in Beijing said the tariffs would be effective as of 12.01pm local time on Sept 24.

After the $200 billion tariffs officially came into force Monday, Beijing reportedly cancelled scheduled talks with Washington, which had been meant to defuse trade tensions. The spat between the USA and China further encouraged the markets to move to the U.S. dollar over gold.

Efforts at diplomacy have failed, with no breakthroughs since high-level talks began in May.

But in a policy statement issued just hours after the dual tariffs took effect, Beijing accused Washington of using tariffs as a means of intimidating other countries to submit to US wishes on economic matters.

Still, the U.S. remains open to talks, Lindsay Walters, deputy White House press secretary, said.

"President Trump has an excellent relationship with President Xi and our teams have been in frequent communication since President Trump took office", Ms Walters said. In fact, Trump revels in it. Trump got himself elected in large part on a promise to get tough with China and other trading partners to reverse the damage done to American manufacturing over the last several decades. A protracted trade war will fuel inflation in the U.S., particularly as tariffs are added to categories such as furniture, apparel and technology, according to analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence.

"Retailers are already facing a tidal wave of tariffs". Though Beijing has not revealed what such steps might be, business executives and analysts say it could withhold exports of certain products to the USA or create more administrative red tape for American companies operating in China. A senior White House official said last week the United States will continue to engage China, but added there was no date for further talks.

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