Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

White House slams China’s ‘weak’ tariff threat and ‘lousy’ economy

White House slams China’s ‘weak’ tariff threat and ‘lousy’ economy

While previously China issued retaliatory tariffs targeting USA goods in areas of the US where President Trump typically finds support, Friday's announcement from China did not identify which US goods would be hit with the $60 billion in new retaliatory tariffs.

The move was in reaction to a threat from Washington earlier this week to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent.

The trade war between the two superpowers has escalated in recent months after Donald Trump's administration imposed tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods in July.

"China's differential tax rate countermeasures are rational and restrained", the Ministry of Commerce said in a separate statement on its website.

The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over USA demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit.

Warning that China had "better take President (Donald) Trump seriously", Kudlow insisted the Asian giant "is in trouble right now - their economy is lousy, investors are walking out, the currency is falling". On Friday Kudlow issued a stark warning to China.

The Republican president has been keen to show he is tough on trade ahead of tricky congressional elections in November, joking at a rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday: "China is not happy with me".

The escalating dispute, with no settlement in sight, has fueled fears it might chill global trade and economic growth.

Iran's currency crisis triggers corruption crackdown
Iranian authorities investigating possible profiteering in vehicle and mobile-phone imports have also stepped up their arrests. Since the beginning of the year, the Iranian rial has lost almost two-thirds of its value.

A statement said: "Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties".

China's finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, ranging from 5 to 25 per cent.

Meanwhile, Beijing's Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, met with his USA counterpart, Mike Pompeo at the ASEAN Foreign Minister's Meeting in Singapore on Friday.

Washington and Beijing are locked in battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of American technological know-how.

The dynamic has proved hard to change, given US consumers' reliance on Chinese goods.

The declaration comes amid a growing U.S. -Sino trade spat. The country also then vowed to protect its "core interests", with promised retaliation, including Friday's threat of new tariffs on the US - an official threat of escalating the economic standoff even further.

Beijing says the United States is deliberately creating the trade conflict, using bullying tactics, and ignoring worldwide negotiating norms so that it can stop the rise of China as a competitor on the world stage. U.S. tariffs on another $16 billion worth of Chinese imports are set to be enacted at a later date. China can not match that dollar for dollar, but it vowed to fight back using "qualitative and quantitative" measures.

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