Friday, 16 November, 2018

Global stocks rebound but trade war fears remain

US to impose tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports ‘Totally unacceptable’: Beijing vows retaliation if US taxes $200bn of Chinese goods
Faye Gross | 12 July, 2018, 19:59

Over 100 types of plastic products, materials and equipment from China are included in a massive new round of US tariffs released late July 10 and covering $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing did not retaliate when the United States placed tariffs on steel and aluminum products.

TRADE FOCUS: China's government said it will take "firm and forceful measures" if the Trump administration goes ahead with its threat of tariff hikes on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods. But they would dramatically increase the amount of goods affected, as they come on top of the 25 per cent penalties on $34 billion in goods the Trump administration imposed last week and another set of tariffs on $16 billion in goods that could kick into effect as early as next month.

With US-China trade tensions continuing to rise, nearly every major asset has tumbled - including the Australian dollar, gold, oil, base metals and global stocks.

While Chinese shares regained Wednesday's heavy losses, with the Shanghai Composite index rising 2.2 percent, the yuan fell against the dollar following the central bank's weakest daily fixing in almost a year and Washington's fresh tariff threats.

China's commerce ministry said it was "shocked" by Washington's latest move, which comes just days after both countries imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on $34 billion of each other's goods, and ups the ante in a heated trade dispute that has rattled global financial markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 219.21 points, or 0.88 percent, to 24,700.45, the S&P 500 lost 19.82 points, or 0.71 percent, to 2,774.02 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 42.59 points, or 0.55 percent, to 7,716.61.

The onshore yuan tracked its offshore counterpart lower with traders closely watching the key 6.7 per dollar level as pressure mounted on the currency.

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The tariffs will not be imposed until after a two-month period of public comment on the proposed list.

Christine McDaniel, a senior research fellow at George Mason University in Virginia, told VOA that while the Trump administration's actions have bipartisan congressional support, its strategy to date of tariffs and investment restrictions could be costly to us manufacturers and consumers.

Some US business groups and lawmakers from Trump's own Republican Party were critical of the escalating tariffs.

The National Association of Manufacturers also criticized the USA decision, saying this latest round of tariffs could undermine the economic gains from the administration's tax and regulatory reform policies. Imposing taxes on another US$200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of every day goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators.

Several traders said they saw some dollar selling by large state banks in the spot market, which went some way to supporting the yuan, though they did not know whether US dollar liquidity offered by the banks was on behalf of the central bank or corporate clients. "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a Chamber spokeswoman said. This will allow the two countries enough time to settle their high-stakes trade dispute through negotiations.

The Foreign Ministry described Washington's threats as "typical bullying" and said China needed to counter attack to protect its interests. Beijing immediately responded with its own tariffs on U.S. goods worth $34 billion.

Those possibilities include delaying approvals of mergers and acquisitions involving US companies, holding up licenses for USA firms and "delaying and ramping up" inspections of American products at borders, officials told the Journal.

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