Published: Sat, August 31, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

A fresh round of Trump tariffs is about to hit store shelves

A fresh round of Trump tariffs is about to hit store shelves

"China has ample means for retaliation, but thinks the question that should be discussed now is about removing the new tariffs to prevent escalation of the trade war". Tariffs have been imposed on $250 billion of Chinese products so far since the trade war began in 2018, and USA trade groups and manufacturers have criticized the policies for hurting profits.

That marks an eight percentage-point increase from 2018, said the group, which represents more than 220 USA companies ranging from Boeing Co BA.N to Archer Daniels Midland ADM.N and Hewlett Packard HPE.N .

Earlier on Thursday, China's Commerce Ministry helped cheer stock markets by signaling that Beijing may not respond in kind to Trump's latest tariff increases and were still willing to negotiate. "That I can't tell you, but we are speaking to China, But I can't tell you whether or not it's going to be President Xi", Trump said.

And the higher costs US importers face could be offset somewhat by the declining value of China's currency, which has the effect of making its products somewhat less expensive in the United States. 'I have great respect for the fact that China called, and they want to make a deal, ' he said Monday morning at the G7 summit for the world's most advanced economies. "And we'll see what happens", the president said.

On Sept. 1 and December 15, the United States will start levying 15 percent duties on a $300 billion list of previously untariffed Chinese imports, including consumer goods such as smartphones, apparel, and footwear.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office said in an official notice that collections of a 15 per cent tariff will begin at 12:01 a.m. ET Sunday on a portion of the list covering over $125 billion of targeted goods from China.

Tariffs of 15 per cent on cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing are to take effect on Dec 15.

"China's most recent response of announcing a new tariff increase on USA goods has shown that the current action being taken is no longer appropriate", USTR said in its notice announcing the higher tariff rates.

Trump said on Friday evening that he thought Beijing's response to Hong Kong protests would be more violent if it were not for the trade talks.

More than 200 footwear firms - including Nike and Converse - said the new duties would add to existing tariffs of up to 67 percent on some shoes, driving up costs for consumers by $4b each year.

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Gao on Thursday hinted that China isn't focused on another round of tariffs.

He did not answer directly when asked if his remarks suggested China would not retaliate against the latest U.S. tariff threat.

He said it was in China's economic interest to accelerate the pace of reforms aimed at opening its market to foreign companies.

"Thirteen per cent of the companies will be leaving China in the fairly near future".

The Trump administration has, for two years, been pushing China to eliminate unfair trade practices and make sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, forced transfers of technology to Chinese firms, industrial subsidies and market access for US companies.

USA companies doing business in China are still making profits there, but 81% say escalating trade tensions between the world's two largest economies have affected their business operations, a survey released Thursday by the US-China Business Council found.

Craig Allen, president of the council, said he didn't interpret Trump's tweet as pushing American companies that serve the Chinese market domestically to leave the country.

One hundred companies responded to the survey in June.

Almost half of the companies said sales fell due to the higher tariffs.

In a separate Twitter post on Friday, he took aim at the Federal Reserve again, writing that "we don't have a Tariff problem (we are reigning in bad and/or unfair players), we have a Fed problem".

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