Abril 22, 2018

Trump, China escalate trade dispute as markets tumble

07 Abril 2018, 12:50 | Dolorita Barahona

China takes US to WTO over trade tariff plan

Trade War Escalation Trump Wants $100 Billion In Tariffs Against China

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth of Chinese goods, on top of the $50 billion in import taxes he already has proposed against Beijing.

Trump said on Thursday he had instructed United States trade officials to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs against China, upping the ante in an already high-stakes trade confrontation between the world's two biggest economies.

President Trump called China's retaliation against US tariffs "unfair" on Thursday, saying he was considering another wave of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Trump also hit out at the World Trade Organisation as he responded to China opening a challenge against the tariff plans at the WTO.

The surprise move came a day after Beijing announced plans to tax 50 billion dollars in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a United States move to slap tariffs on 50 billion dollars in Chinese imports.

In retaliation, China responded within hours by announcing 50 billion dollars worth of tariffs on U.S goods.

"We will not exclude any option", said Gao Feng, the spokesman for the Commerce Ministry, adding that Beijing is not now considering talks with American trade envoys.

U.S. President Donald Trump takes part in a welcoming ceremony with China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.

"China can ditch American energy at any time because there's plenty of supplies elsewhere, whereas for the USA, energy is a sensitive subject", said Will Yun, a commodities analyst at Hyundai Futures in Seoul.

April 3: Trump raises the stakes, proposing 25 percent tariffs on some 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical products to try to force changes in Beijing's intellectual property practices.

The week started with China imposing US$3 billion of tariffs on U.S. fruits, nuts, wine and pork, and rapidly escalated to threats that could seriously curtail hundreds of billions of dollars in trade between the world's two largest economies.

China has unveiled plans for painful import duties targeting politically-sensitive United States exports, including soybeans, aircraft and autos. If imposed, analysts say China can expect a significant number of bankruptcies and rising unemployment.

China hit back within hours with its own threatened tariffs on U.S. imports including soybeans, planes, cars, whiskey and chemicals.

"Any escalation in the trade war rhetoric would be more negative for China than the United States given the former's relative dependency on trade but for now, the markets are focused on the payrolls data", said Richard Falkenhall, a senior currency strategist at SEB in Stockholm.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement on Thursday that Trump's proposal was an "appropriate response to China's recent threat of new tariffs".

The market reactions were initially quiet, as investors waited for details of any tariffs that might stem from Mr. Trump's remarks.

"We should acknowledge numerous legitimate complaints around trade", Dimon said.

Concern about a potential trade war already had been rippling through farm states, which are a crucial part of Trump's political base and a powerful voting bloc in November's congressional elections.

"Hopefully the President is just blowing off steam again but, if he's even half-serious, this is nuts", Sasse wrote.

"When you're already $500 Billion DOWN, you can't lose!" the president writes on Twitter, referring to the 2016 USA deficit in goods and services trade, which he has repeatedly pointed out. "He's threatening to light American agriculture on fire". USA officials say they'll hold hearings on the administration's proposed target list of 1,300 products in mid-May and haven't set a deadline for when the tariffs would take effect.

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