US Lawmakers Back Tariffs as China Threatens to Retaliate

EU, Brazil, South Korea and others get temporary exemptions from Trump's steel tariffs
Trump's Plan to Punish the US Economy

26 March, 2018

Kennedy said a deal to cut China's $375 billion USA goods trade surplus by $100 billion is far easier to achieve with additional purchases of US soybeans, beef, liquefied natural gas, Boeing aircraft and other equipment.

If you're an American who likes wearing Victoria's Secret bras, Guess jeans or Nike shoes, chances are you'll feel the impact of the $50 billion in tariffs that President Donald Trump is expected to unleash on Chinese imports.

Shi Shiwei, a visiting professor at the Free University of Berlin, said the USA overbearing unilateralism approach not only damages the world's two largest economies, but also inflicts passive impact on German and European economies and poses a threat to the global economy.

Hong Kong-based Li & Fung alone collects about 64 of revenue from about 50 consumer-product companies in the US, including retailers Walmart, Macy's and JC Penney. "It creates a very bad precedent", Beijing said, adding, "China hopes the United States will pull back from the brink, make prudent decisions, and avoid dragging bilateral trade relations to a unsafe place". A Chinese Commerce Ministry trade negotiator, Chen Fuli, said that Beijing objects to the unilateral trade actions by the USA and won't negotiate as long as it insists on acting unilaterally.

Countries affected by the measures, like China, can under WTO rules retaliate with tariffs on US goods worth a sum equivalent to the trading loss they would suffer from the USA tariffs.

During a visit to Washington in early March, Liu had requested Washington set up a new economic dialogue mechanism, identify a point person on China issues, and deliver a list of demands.

In announcing exemptions for the European Union, Argentina, Australia, South Korea and Brazil, the Trump administration has effectively narrowed the countries that it is targeting with its protectionist trade policies. "The import was 390.4 billion US dollars", Fu said. "We will do whatever we can to defend the legitimate interests".

In China, he argued, a major confrontation over trade would be likely to strengthen those who believe the United States is seeking to block China's rise.

Trump announced $60 billion worth of annual tariffs on Chinese imports in a retaliatory move for China's assumed theft of American intellectual property.

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China's ambassador to Washington, Cui Tiankai, said on Thursday that Beijing would retaliate against those tariffs on about $60 billion of Chinese goods.

Beijing unveiled a hit list of products that could face duties of up to 25 percent, from fresh fruit to pork and wine, though it stopped short of pulling the trigger as it indicated its readiness to negotiate an agreement.

"If these tariffs stick and there's no help for us as a downstream business with imported or low-priced kegs coming in, we'll be in deep trouble", American Keg CEO Paul Czachor told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo during an interview on Friday.

The Commerce Ministry said higher duties on pork, apples, steel pipe and other goods would offset Chinese losses due to Trump's tariff hike on steel and aluminum imports.

Possible items include aircraft and chips, Wei, a former vice commerce minister, told the newspaper, adding that tourism could be a possible target.

"I view them as a friend" Trump said of the Chinese as he started his announcement.

"That's it then, we have no more competitive edge", said Justin Yu, a sales manager at Zhejiang-based Pinghu Mijia Child Product Co., which makes toy scooters sold at American retailers.

Last year, the two countries exchanged $636 billion worth of goods, and American companies such as Boeing and Caterpillar depend heavily on the Chinese market.

Chinese penalties on USA soybeans will especially hurt Iowa, a state that backed Trump in the 2016 presidential elections.

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