Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

China vows fast response to United States tariffs

China vows fast response to United States tariffs

U.S. President Donald Trump has made a decision to impose tariffs on about US$50 billion in Chinese imports, according to two people familiar with the matter, in a move likely to escalate trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies.

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Trump has already slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies, and his proposed tariffs against China risk starting a trade war involving the world's two biggest economies.

If the USA does move ahead with tariffs, China is ready to go with its own countermoves. The list will contain 800 product categories, down from 1,300 previously, according to another administration official and an industry source familiar with the list.

President Trump is set to impose fresh tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, in a step that could further escalate the president's burgeoning trade war with many of its closest partners.

China and other nations should join together to counter Trump's aggressive trade policies, the state-run China Daily said on Friday, repeating past threats to retaliate in kind.

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"The first choice is cooperation and mutual benefit". While China hopes that talks can succeed in resolving the dispute, "it is high time that China and other major economies joined hands to better cope with the challenges created by the US's aggressive pursuit of trade advantages", the editorial said. Several industry lobbyists said they expect the move to come as early as Friday, with the publication of a Federal Register notice, or it could be put off until next week.

If implemented, the tariffs will dent economic growth on both sides of the Pacific, analysts say.

"All the results from the negotiations will not go into effect", Geng repeated, and added China's commerce ministry had made a formal response to the US's unilateralism in early April when the Trump administration first unveiled the tariffs.

China has published its own list of threatened tariffs on $50 billion in USA goods, including soybeans, aircraft, and autos, and has said it would hit back if Washington followed up with further measures. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who had a heart attack on Monday, didn't take part, she said.

The newest tariffs will come despite grumblings in the United States market that Trump's brinkmanship on trade has negatively impacted USA industries. I mean you'll see over the next couple of weeks.

Press officials at the U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. Trade Representative's office declined to comment on the tariff list plans.

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Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng revealed that while there had been no bilateral talks between the two sides on trade disputes, the USA did follow WTO procedures to open a dialogue following China's petition that United States trade practices violated WTO rules.

But if the president follows through on all the duties he's threatened, including the tariffs against China, U.S. inflation could accelerate by 15 basis points, according to Goldman Sachs.

The administration's trade hawks, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro, have advocated a tougher approach to address U.S. allegations that China has misappropriated American intellectual property through joint venture requirements, state-backed acquisitions of U.S. technology firms and outright theft.

U.S. President Donald Trump is pictured during a meeting at the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018.

Amid the rising trade tension, China's Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Chinese exporters have been front-loading their shipments due to changes in the worldwide trade environment.

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