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China announces tariffs on scrap imports from the USA

12 August, 2018, 00:01 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Are Trumps Tariffs Actually Increasing The Trade Deficit

US-made condoms are among the latest items Beijing is threatening to include on its US$60 billion list of American products to be hit by tariffs.

China on Wednesday said it would impose tariffs on an additional US$16 billion ($23.9b) in U.S. autos and energy products, retaliating for the Trump administration's latest import levies on an equivalent value of Chinese goods.

China's announcement comes after the U.S. Trade Representative's office released a finalized list of $16 billion worth in Chinese goods that will be hit with tariffs.

Commenting on the decision, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce said that it is totally unreasonable for the United States to put domestic laws above global laws time and time again. China has vowed to retaliate to an equal degree. The Commerce Ministry said it is responding to the United States' decision to slap 25-percent tariffs on another US$16 billion of Chinese goods August 23. Beijing has retaliated with higher duties on a similar amount of American goods. India's Commerce Department had suggested keeping 25 percent tariffs on solar cells and modules imported from China on Monday. They are meant to protect homegrown businesses and put foreign competitors at a disadvantage.

Yet official figures appear to show that the increasingly fierce dispute has not applied the brakes to Chinese exports, with the latest data revealing growth of 12.2 per cent in July.

But China has notched a pair of concrete victories in the trade showdown, according to Jeff Moon, a former USA trade negotiator in the Obama administration. The U.S.is the world's top producer of natural gas and is a growing LNG exporter.

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The central bank has made it more expensive to bet against the yuan in a bid to ease pressure on the currency.

"The higher-than-expected imports were pushed up by energy prices, which narrowed the trade balance", said Iris Pang, greater China economist at ING Wholesale Banking in Hong Kong.

China has vowed to retaliate with equivalent tariffs against any U.S. action.

The politically volatile surplus with the United States expanded by 11 percent to $28 billion. Beijing already has stopped trying to match the U.S. tariffs on a dollar-for-dollar basis, threatening to hit just an additional US$60b in United States imports if the president follows through on his threat to target a further US$200b in Chinese products. Last year's imports from the United States totaled about $130 billion.

The US and China are dependent on each other for the supply of pharmaceutical products.

Beijing has stepped up efforts, so far without success, to recruit governments including Germany and France as allies. The outcome of the crisis was a turn by South East Asian nations towards the Chinese economy, on which they have become increasingly dependent.

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