GETTYBut the EU rejected any idea of allying with China against Washington
07 July, 2018, 02:54
Washington imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports on Friday and Beijing has said it will retaliate with punitive measures on USA products worth a similar amount, including soybeans, pork and cotton.
President Donald Trump has ordered the U.S. to impose tariffs on $US50b worth of Chinese goods - and China has said it will retaliate in kind.
Its 0400 GMT and the US tariffs on China take effect, as confirmed by the US President Trump late-Thursday.
The taxes target 818 kinds of Chinese products in industries such as aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials and automobiles, according to a USTR list released previously.
After months of threats from President Donald Trump, at 12:01 a.m. Friday a trade war between the world's two largest economies began in earnest.
At midnight Washington time, the USA imposed new tariffs on $34 billion of annual imports from China. "There are lots of things they could do to make life hard for USA businesses operating in China that would be detrimental to us".
Gao also said United States business interests would suffer from the first set of tariffs, with about US$20 billion of the targeted goods, or 59 per cent, produced by foreign firms, including USA ones.
Trump has slapped tariffs on all major United States trading partners: China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union and Japan (India is way down the line but is not excepted).
In contrast, China imports only about $125 billion worth of goods from the US.
Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said that the proposed US tariffs would hit many American and foreign companies operating in China and disrupt their supplies of components and assembly work.
In the run-up to Friday's tariff implementation, there was no sign of renewed negotiations between United States and Chinese officials, business sources in Washington and Beijing said. The motorcycle company announced last month it would move production out of the U.S.to get around the EU's retaliatory tariffs.
Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, warned this week that further escalation of Trump's trade disputes would hurt the American economy most, with potential to lower U.S. economic growth by around 5%.
Trump himself tweeted this week that the economy is doing "perhaps better than ever" even "prior to fixing some of the worst and most unfair Trade Deals ever made by any country". "And it's making American companies less competitive", Gonzalez said. There did not appear to be any direct instructions to hold up cargoes, but some customs departments were waiting for official guidance on imposing added tariffs, the sources said. "And the impact on US business, in my estimation, will be substantial".
"Our view is that trade war is never a solution", Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told reporters during a trip to Bulgaria.
Of the $34 billion of Chinese goods targeted by the U.S., around 59%, or $20 billion, is produced by foreign-owned companies, including some from the U.S., Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday. But President Trump's fundamentally nativist outlook and his take-no-prisoners, give-no-quarter negotiating style, Indian officials are acknowledging privately, comes as a sobering reminder that there is no such thing as a free lunch or friendship based on geo-politics with a businessman-President. The president said USA tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese goods are set to take effect in two weeks.
White House trade officials say the current strength of the USA economy means Washington can withstand more pain than its rivals if the battle escalates further.
If enacted, the import duty would make USA oil less competitive than other crudes, likely causing a decline in Chinese purchases and forcing US oil firms to find other buyers.
Beijing has also offered the EU an alliance in a trade war with the United States, claiming that "China and European countries are natural partners".
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