New US tariffs unacceptable, says China, East Asia News & Top Stories

Gladys Abbott
July 12, 2018

"It is totally unacceptable for American side to publish a tariff list in a way that is accelerating and escalating", said a Commerce Ministry statement.

Some U.S. business groups and lawmakers from President Donald Trump's own Republican Party who support free trade were critical of the escalating tariffs.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry called the move "typical trade bullying", and urged the global community to work together to "resolutely resist unilateralism, oppose protectionism and maintain the multilateral trading system".

In financial markets, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.5 percent, while the main indexes in Hong Kong and Shanghai fell more than 2 percent.

House ways and means chairman Kevin Brady urged Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping "to meet soon face-to-face to craft a solution to establish a fair and lasting trade relationship between our two countries".

The United States has launched what China calls the "largest trade war in economic history" and in its latest move targeted another $200 billion in Chinese export goods. Both governments have raised tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other's goods and already said they are considering additional charges on another $16 billion.

In Beijing, Li Chenggang, assistant minister at China's Commerce Ministry, said at a forum in Beijing that the latest USA proposals interfered with the globalisation of the world economy and that China's support for a multilateral trade system would not change. USA officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified.

President Donald Trump has said he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of United States imports from China a year ago.

The 10% tariffs will not kick in immediately but will undergo a two-month review process, with hearings August 20-23., according to a statement from the U.S. Trade Representative's office Tuesday.

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South Korea's trade ministry said in a statement that the trade war could be "prolonged and spread", adding that it would prepare responses and scenarios to cope with the economic impact of the trade row.

The National Association of Manufacturers also criticized the US decision, saying this latest round of tariffs could undermine the economic gains from the administration's tax and regulatory reform policies.

Last year, for example, China imported nearly four times fewer goods to the US than what it exported to America.

'Given China's likelihood of retaliation, it's also billions worth of new tariffs on American exporters'.

Just days after firing the first shot in its trade skirmish with Beijing, the Trump administration unveiled a list of 6,000 Chinese products ranging from toilet paper to baseball gloves that will face a 10pc tariff.

Last year, more US crude oil was sent to China than any other destination except Canada, the EIA said in an analysis on Tuesday. The Chinese government's industrial strategy to make its goods competitive on the global market, in place since 2015, seems to have been one of the key instigators of Trump's trade war.

"Unfortunately, China has not changed its behavior - behavior that puts the future of the USA economy at risk", he continues.

The biggest losers were the offshore Chinese yuan, which slipped to an 11-month low, and the Australian dollar, which fell as much as 1.2%. China received more US crude oil in 2017 than the third- and fourth-largest importers combined, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

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