Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

China won't accept U.S. trade 'blackmail': state media

China won't accept U.S. trade 'blackmail': state media

China has threatened to slap import tax on about $60 billion of USA imports, with tax rates ranging from 5 to 25 percent, the country's commerce ministry said on Friday, calling the proposed tariff "rational and restrained".

He also said China was "for the first time doing poorly against us".

But China is somewhat limited with the extent of what tit-for-tat trade measures are at its disposal, as it exports far more goods to the U.S. than it imports.

China's imports from the United States a year ago totaled $153.9 billion. The divergence between USA agriculture's collective struggle to retain healthy profits without access to the Chinese market and Huawei beating all of its American competitors to become the second most popular smartphone brand in the world just after South Korea's Samsung, is indicative of the fact that many of China's flagship brands cannot only survive but thrive even when being cut off from the U.S. market. "China market has dropped 27% in last 4 months, and they are talking to us".

President Donald Trump this week ordered officials to consider imposing a 25% tax on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, up from an initial 10% rate.

The spat began in April with the Trump administration imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports into the United States from China, which also retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about Dollars three billion on 128 USA products.

China called for an end to the trade dispute through talks with the United States, but on May 29, the United States announced another round of tariffs on about $50 billion in Chinese goods.

'The White House's extreme pressure and blackmail are already clear to the worldwide community, ' said a Chinese state television commentary, according to Reuters.

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Other U.S. goods targeted by China in the latest list include semiconductors, some helicopters, small-to-mid-sized aircraft, condoms, iron ore, steel products, roasted coffee, sugar, foods containing chocolate, candies, and even vehicle windscreens.

Trade tensions between the US and China have been escalating for months, driven by President Trump's aggressive rhetoric and policy positions.

The two countries have not had formal trade talks since early June. The list of products includes a variety of agricultural goods such as beef, as well as small planes, chemical components, textiles and liquefied natural gas.

Pompeo added that he had discussed trade issues with Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi on Friday. LNG's inclusion marks a deployment by Beijing of one of its last major weapons from its energy and commodities arsenal in its fight with Washington. Wang said on Friday they did not get into details.

The most recent threat from the Trump administration came this week, when it warned that it could impose steeper tariffs than originally planned on another batch of imports from China. The amount could be even larger if the United States resolves a logistics bottleneck.

China has said new duties will be applied only if Washington pulls the trigger on its new tariffs.

"The Chinese are also coping by lowering the rate of the yuan, while the USA can look towards countries in Southeast Asia as replacements for its imports, so it's not a big issue", Ye said.

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