USA slaps tariffs on $200bn in China goods as trade war escalates

Geraldine Edwards
September 19, 2018

The tariffs will take effect on 24 September, and will rise to 25% from 1 January 2019.

China's yuan currency slipped 0.3 per cent against the United States dollar in Asian trade on Tuesday. But it is unclear whether Beijing will agree to come to Washington with the new tariffs set to go into effect.

President Trump has announced tariffs on a further US$200 billion (NZ$304b) of Chinese imports from next week.

BPSA's president, Adam Micklin, told BRAIN, "The BPSA and PeopleForBikes are aware of the tariffs news regarding a possible reduction to 10 percent but we have not had a chance to fully review the list".

Liu had been expected to go to Washington next week to resume talks with Stephen Mnuchin, but the tariffs will be triggered on Monday, putting negotiations in doubt.

Oil prices edged lower on concerns over how the U.S. -Sino trade dispute may dent global crude demand, but losses were limited as the market weighed potential supply tightening due to Iran sanctions.

The summary, released on Tuesday morning, quoted Zhong as saying "entrepreneurs are very anxious about the possible consequences of trade conflicts in the world's two largest economies, which we do not want to see". However, without these tariffs, we will be facing an unfair disadvantage.

"If the USA launches any new tariff measures, China will have to take countermeasures to firmly ensure our legitimate rights and interests", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters ahead of the expected announcement.

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Trump has consistently railed against the US' enormous trade gap with China.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.35 percent, to 26,062.12.

"China, however, still refuses to change its practices and indeed recently imposed new tariffs in an effort to hurt the United States economy", Trump said.

"As President, it is my duty to protect the interests of working men and women, farmers, ranchers, businesses, and our country itself". "My administration will not remain idle when those interests are under attack".

Earlier in the day the President tweeted: "Tariffs have put the U.S. in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been nearly unnoticeable".

President Donald Trump, to the alarm of USA trading partners, has kept his course of aggressive trade policy, imposing punitive tariffs on countries he accuses of cheating American workers.

A weaker United States dollar has boosted gold prices while the price of most base metals slipped on the back of concerns that demand for metals will weaken as a result of the trade dispute.

But the growth of the world capitalist economy and the strengthening of the other major powers undermined the very foundations on which they were based-the absolute dominance of the US.

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Trump also proclaimed the US steel industry the 'talk of the World'. Beijing's target list of USA goods to penalize was heavy on agriculture.

Have there been trade wars before?

The lack of unity within the USA administration on trade isn't new - Chinese and American officials have held a series of talks over the dispute, and reached at least one agreement which was subsequently abandoned by the president.

"The Liberal-National government will ensure we continue to have the backs of Australian industry".

For example, higher prices for raw materials in the USA could flow through into higher prices for food packaging which could impact the price of goods in New Zealand supermarkets, he said.

"Tariffs are a tax on American families, period", said Hun Quach", RILA's vice president for global trade. "As a result, tariffs will ultimately reduce the economic benefit we generate for the United States". "Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple".

"By choosing to unilaterally raise taxes on Americans, the cost of running a farm, factory or business will grow".

In addition to smart watches and Bluetooth devices, certain chemical inputs widely used by American manufacturers, as well as safety products such as bicycle helmets and vehicle seats were granted exemptions.

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McClay said no escalation of tariffs was good for a small country like New Zealand, "particularly between the world's largest and second-largest economies", and he was not sure if the Government was paying enough attention to its trading partners.

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