Published: Thu, May 23, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Next round of U.S. tariffs a month away; Mnuchin

Next round of U.S. tariffs a month away; Mnuchin

But U.S. businesses in China are also nervous after President Donald Trump's decision to severely restrict Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei's access to American big tech companies. "If we issue an exemption there will be no price increase", he said.

The US recently added Huawei to its "entity list" which puts curbs on its ability to do business in America.

Mnuchin said the Trump administration is open to holding new talks with China if the two sides can proceed on the basis of previous negotiations.

China on Wednesday urged the United States to heed the "reasonable call" from within after more than 170 footwear companies in the USA warned of the "catastrophic" effects of proposed tariff hikes against Chinese goods.

Trump this month made a decision to more than double tariffs on $200bn in Chinese imports, claiming Beijing had suddenly backtracked in this year's trade negotiations, which drew further retaliation from Beijing.

Though Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei reiterated the importance of foreign technologies in Huawei's development and expressed his gratitude to USA suppliers' support during a recent press conference, the idea of tech independence is gaining traction in China.

Trump said he's happy to collect tariffs on Chinese merchandise paid by China.

An op-ed published by the People's Daily, the ruling party's official newspaper, said what happened to Huawei proved that China can not "buy its way to modernization", and that it must acquire "key technologies and core equipment" to safeguard its "national economic security". Trump has already hit out at potential re-election challenger Joe Biden, saying at a campaign rally Monday that Beijing wants the former vice president to replace him so it "can continue to make $500 billion dollars a year and more ripping off the United States".

Retaliation While China has not said whether or how it may retaliate to the measures against Huawei, state media have taken an increasingly strident and nationalistic tone.

Huawei is already looking for a Play Store replacement, talking to Aptoide
The margins have taken a beating since then, with Samsung shipping just 1.2 devices for every Huawei smartphone . This past weekend, news broke that Huawei would be losing access to Google services, apps, and Android updates.

Another big Chinese firm - video surveillance equipment maker Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd - also may face limits on its ability to buy USA technology, The New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

"[Trump] is just looking for a better deal... sometimes forcing pain on an opponent and other times handing out rewards for good behaviour", the Beijing-based journalist opined, suggesting that if the USA president's ultimate goal was an all-out trade war with China, he would have resorted to it already.

Almost half said they have experienced non-tariff retaliatory measures in China since previous year, with one in five reporting increased inspections and a similar amount enduring slower customs clearance.

It also said that 40.7% of respondents were considering or had relocated manufacturing facilities outside China.

Several rounds of talks between China and the United States on their long-standing trade quarrel have so far yielded no results.

The US and China are set to meet again to discuss trade at the G20 summit in Japan next month.

"The Chinese government will probably wait to see if other provocations come from the Trump administration, but certainly they're sending some signals", said Wang Dong, secretary general of the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank, who has served as a Chinese delegate at global security conferences. Washington also wants curbs on subsidies for Chinese state-owned enterprises and increased access to US markets.

When he lifted tariffs earlier this month, Trump told companies that they could reduce costs by shifting production to the US.

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