US Tariffs Go Into Effect On Chinese Goods At Midnight

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

Chinese state media said Friday that China had implemented tariffs on $34 billion worth of items imported from the U.S.in response. In 2017, almost one in every three rows of harvested beans shipped to China.

In this July 4, 2018, photo, a robot from Chinese search company Baidu welcomes visitors to a developer event in Beijing, China.

What's worse is that the Trump administration has paved no way out of this situation, said Matthew Gold, former deputy assistant USA trade representative for North America. Officials in Beijing reject accusations of theft and say foreign companies have no obligation to hand over technology.

A report by New York-based Rhodium Group, a research consultancy, in April showed that Chinese restrictions on foreign investment are higher in every single sector save real estate, compared to the European Union, while numerous big Chinese takeovers in the bloc would not have been possible for EU companies in China.

"We now face large financial losses and contraction because of escalating trade disputes".

I view these tariffs as a negotiating ploy by President Trump to try to force the Chinese to open up their market better for American companies. Some contend that containing China's technological progress is his real objective and that is why the list of tariffs targets Chinese industries such as aerospace, telecoms and artificial intelligence...

The major USA stock indexes were mostly higher in early trading Friday following a solid jobs report, keeping the market on track for a weekly gain after two weeks of losses.The modest gains came despite an escalation in global trade tensions as the US imposed tariffs on billions in Chinese goods and China responded in kind. With the value-added tax applied on top of the tariff, total Chinese taxes on USA pork will be 78 percent.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the proposed U.S. tariffs would hit many American and foreign companies operating in China and disrupt their supplies of components and assembly work. Jackson Township farmer Jim Hefner says in the months since the tariffs were announced soybean prices have dropped about $100 per acre overall, although prices did improve a bit on the day the tariffs were actually imposed. "For China to massively reduce its trade surplus with the USA, it has to in some way substitute its imports away from the European Union to the US, which would have a significant negative impact on the European Union producers".

While not on the summit's official agenda, European leaders will voice their trade concerns to Trump, diplomats said.

The head of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA), Hubert Lienhard, said that in the face of a growing protectionist agenda in the U.S., a joint German-Chinese message to the White House "could be one the of things emerging from today's government consultations".

The Nikkei 225 fell 0.8 per cent, and stocks in Thailand and the Philippines slumped 1.5 per cent. Stocks in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia finished slightly stronger. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.5 percent, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.7 percent. They also offered a rare moment of humour in an increasingly acrimonious row between the world's top two economies.

Beijing also accused Washington of breaching trade rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The ruling Communist Party has insisted on making changes at its own pace while sticking to a state-led industrial strategy seen as the path to prosperity and global influence.

Since March 1, when President Donald Trump said he would impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum, igniting fears of a trade war, S&P 500 industrials have fallen 4 per cent, reflecting the sector's dependence on worldwide commerce.

That would bring the total of targeted Chinese goods to potentially $550 billion - more than the $506 billion in goods that China actually shipped to the United States past year. The first phase of that will affect $34 billion worth of goods.

Trump's confrontational outlook applies to other trading partners as well as China, said Tai Hui, chief strategist for JP Morgan Asset Management, in a report.

"In effect, the Trump administration is behaving like a gang of hoodlums with its shakedown of other countries, particularly China", the state-run China Daily newspaper said in an English language editorial on Friday. It said they would damage the global economy unless other countries stop them.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China appealed to both sides to negotiate a settlement.

Prices are rising, especially for steel and aluminium, and companies are starting to feel reticent about investments or plan to shift production overseas to avoid retaliation against USA exports.

"The world has to be prepared for an escalation of the trade conflict in the months to come", Raoul Leering, a trade analyst at ING bank said in a note to clients.