China appeals for USA calm after new tariff threat

An investor sits in front of private stock trading boards at a private stock market in Kuala Lumpur. – AP

An investor sits in front of private stock trading boards at a private stock market in Kuala Lumpur. – AP

He said President Donald Trump directed him in June to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs of 10 percent and he initiated the process on July 10.

The ministry said timing of the implementation of the new tariffs on U.S. goods would depend on the actions of the US.

The US equity index is up by more than 5 per cent since the start of 2018, and 25 per cent since the start of 2017, while China's Shanghai composite index has fallen by 13 percent and 7 per cent respectively.

Products in line for tariffs include meat, coffee, nuts, alcoholic drinks, minerals, chemicals, leather products, wood products, machinery, furniture and auto parts.

Trump has threatened to escalate the conflict even more by taxing virtually all of the $500 billion worth of goods China ships annually to the United States.

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The ministry also said the U.S. measures violated World Trade Organisation rules and damaged China's interests. But Kudlow's toughest words came about the Chinese economy itself, which is second only to the United States.

"The money comes after farmers, especially soybean growers, have felt the brunt of retaliatory tariffs placed on agriculture by China and other nations that the Trump administration has penalized with tariffs on imports", NPR's Brian Naylor reported.

The risk of a trade war between the US and China has grabbed markets' attention recently, fuelled by headlines; Twitter quotes from Donald Trump and also because of the threat of retaliatory action from China.

"We will give people a chance obviously to comment on the substantial effects of a 25 percent duty as oppose to a 10 percent duty", a senior administration official told reporters.

But the move drew swift condemnation from US business lobby groups anxious that tit-for-tat tariffs would start to hamper economic growth.

"We hope that the trade policy makers in the United States will be cool-headed and listen to the voice of USA consumers and pay high attention to the voice of the American business community." he said, noting that higher tariffs will add to costs for USA companies operating in China and for consumers.

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President Donald Trump's administration said on July 10 it would seek to impose the 10 per cent tariffs on thousands of Chinese imports. "Given the scope of the products covered, about half of all imports from China are facing tariffs, including consumer goods", Ennis said.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross downplayed the impact of the tariffs on the American economy.

That fell apart shortly after it was announced by USA officials and amid acrimony in the negotiating team sent to Beijing due to disagreements over the concessions that would be made to China.

"Pressure and blackmail from the US won't work", Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a briefing in Beijing, the New York Times reported.

"We would advise the United States to correct its attitude and not try to engage in blackmail. This won't work on China", Geng said.

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