Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Global markets on edge as Trump threatens duties on all Chinese imports

Global markets on edge as Trump threatens duties on all Chinese imports

While no one predicted a sudden, sharp blow from United States tariffs, China's official export data has been surprisingly resilient so far, with growth exceeding analysts' expectations for five months in a row. US stocks erased gains after Trump's remarks.

The trade war the president has initiated between the world's two largest economies stems from concerns that China has deployed predatory tactics - including cyber-theft - to try to supplant America's technological supremacy.

If the US adopted the new trade measures, it would mean the country will have placed tariffs on $517 billion worth of Chinese goods, the entire value of all Chinese imports into the United States. "That changes the equation".

If the president follows through, the threatened tariffs and those already in place would more than cover the value of all goods the United States buys from China, according to U.S. government data from a year ago.

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President Trump acknowledged on Twitter that Apple prices could go up as a result of the "massive tariffs" he's proposing on China, but rather than accepting blame for a potential hike on popular consumer items, he said the company should move production to USA shores.

Trump said on Friday he's willing to slap tariffs on an additional $267 billion in Chinese goods, on top of duties of $200 billion in imports is already considering.

Earlier on Friday White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump will not make any decisions on his threatened tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods before officials evaluate public comments on them.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the United States will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower USA growth and competitiveness and higher prices for U.S. consumers", the company said.

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"If the USA dogmatically implements any new tariff measures against China, China will have to take the necessary countermeasures", commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters.

"We'll continue to talk to China", he said at the White House on Wednesday.

Trump said Friday that the timing of the tariffs on the $200bn worth of goods is not yet final. "Look, Canada has been ripping us off for a long time".

Last week, Washington reached a new deal with Mexico and is pushing to sign a revamped NAFTA before December 1, when the next president takes over in Mexico City. "The trade wars only serve as a catalyst for the turning of the cycle".

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