Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

China-US trade standoff heats up again

China-US trade standoff heats up again

US President Donald Trump is due to unveil later on Friday a final list of roughly $50 billion in Chinese imports that would face punishing tariffs, though his administration has not yet publicly said when the measures will be imposed. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the matter ahead of a formal announcement.

Washington has also completed a second list of possible tariffs on another US$100 billion in Chinese goods, in the expectation that China will respond to the initial U.S. tariff list in kind, sources told Reuters.

"We made clear that if the USA rolls out trade sanctions, including the imposition of tariffs, all outcomes reached by the two sides in terms of trade and economy will not come into effect", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Thursday.

DeLauro said the Trump Commerce Department's disorderly implementation of trade enforcement tools failed to inspire confidence in the President's ability to appropriately hold the trading partners accountable.

Trump no longer believes that Beijing's influence over North Korea is a compelling reason to ease up on trade talks now that his administration has opened up a direct line of communication with the nuclear-armed country, the first administration official said.

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The countries said in a joint statement that China would "significantly increase" purchases of United States agricultural and energy products to reduce the trade imbalance, a top Trump administration demand.

China, the world's No. 2 behind the USA, has pledged to retaliate on US exports including soybeans and pork. A recent study by Purdue University economists predicts that soybean exports to China could drop by a whopping 65% if China imposes a 25% tariff on US soybeans.

"If you end up with a tariff battle, you will end up with price inflation, and you could end up with consumer debt - those are all historic ingredients for an economic slowdown", Cohn said at an event sponsored by The Washington Post.

'His fundamental commitment to the "deplorables" on the campaign trail was that he was going to bring manufacturing jobs back, particularly from Asia'. He has identified reducing the $375 billion annual trade deficit with China as a key test of his "America First" trade strategy.

"We're asking them to completely change who they are and we're shaking this little stick in front of them", said Derek Scissors, an expert on the Chinese economy at the American Enterprise Institute.

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Spain's newly appointed agricultural minister, Luis Planas, also opposed the tariff's impact, saying it is unjust.

The tariffs, which Trump set in motion in March, are a response to China's practice of compulsory technology licensing for foreign companies and its efforts to steal USA trade secrets via cybertheft, administration officials have said. Tariffs on any products added to the U.S. Trade Representative's list would be subject to a period of public feedback.

Trump also was bullish at and after the recent G7 meetings when he, alongside National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, refused to budge on their financial and trade policies.

In April, the USA revealed an initial list targeting about 1,300 products worth US$50 billion in Chinese imports. A statement released from the United States Treasury Department said, in response to the International Monetary Fund, that the USA "differ significantly on the medium and long-term projections".

Pompeo said the US deficit with China was still too high, but that they had good talks.

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