Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

China vows retaliation for latest USA tariff threat

China vows retaliation for latest USA tariff threat

The US Trade Representative on July 10 identified a sprawling list of more than 6,000 product categories that could be hit with 10 percent import duties as soon as September. The top items by value were furniture at $29 billion of imports in 2017, network routers worth $23 billion previous year and computer components to the value of $20 billion.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will accept public comments and hold hearings on the plan August 20-23 before reaching a decision after August 31, according to a senior administration official.

The White House move drew immediate condemnation from Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, who called it "reckless" and not "targeted".

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said China's retaliatory tariffs were "without any worldwide legal basis or justification".

That prompted fears it might go beyond matching Washington's duty increases by disrupting operations for United States companies in China.

- South Korea - In March, Washington and Seoul announced an agreement on a revised version of their bilateral free trade accord, giving U.S. carmakers greater access to the South Korean market.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed Chinese officials, said Beijing was considering steps including holding up licenses for USA companies, delaying approvals of mergers involving US firms and stepping up border inspections of American goods.

"This act is typical trade bullying", a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. The prospect of an global trade war has sent jitters through world markets.

In the first round of a tit-for-tat trade war, China responded to last week's United States tariffs with import taxes of equal size on $US34 billion worth of American exports.

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ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 54 cents to $70.92 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 85 cents to $74.25 per barrel in London. President Donald Trump has threatened to raise duties on nearly everything Americans buy from China. Before the latest anti-China announcement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese premier Li Keqiang held a meeting in Berlin in which they pledged to uphold the rules-based order.

The main demand of the U.S., which was set out in a statement issued on May 4, is that China cease its attempt to develop its technological and industrial base under its "Made in China 2025" plan.

"A lot of supplies on construction machinery come from China".

US President Donald Trump ordered his government to prepare tariffs on a further US$200bn of imports from China on Monday.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 2% while the Shanghai Composite fell 1.8%.

On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index were up 0.4 percent.

Trump has been following through on pledges he made during his presidential campaign to get tough on China, which he accuses of unfair trade practices including theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfer that have led to a $375 billion US trade deficit with China.

A Chinese Commerce Ministry statement, issued Wednesday following the Trump administration announcement, said China was "shocked" at the US plans to levy the 10% tariffs.

The U.S. dollar strengthened against the Japanese yen on Wednesday as trade tensions mounted and after the Labor Department's expectation-beating inflation report, which increased prospects that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates another two times this year.

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