Lawmakers, US allies sound alarm over Trump’s latest tariff moves

Chairman Xi speaks at the National People’s Congress in Beijing

Chairman Xi speaks at the National People’s Congress in Beijing

Last Friday, the USA imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $US34 billion ($46 billion) of Chinese products, and Beijing responded by hitting the same amount of U.S. imports. "This is totally unacceptable", the statement said.

"China wants to become more independent technologically and less dependent on foreign imports of high-tech products in particular, semiconductors and the like, which it gets from the USA and elsewhere", she says. That came four days after Washington added 25 per cent duties on US$34 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing responded by increasing taxes on the same amount of American imports.

Long accused of protectionist tactics that make it a hard place for foreign firms to operate, China is trying to reverse that narrative amid an escalating trade war with the United States, green-lighting huge investments and portraying itself as a champion of openness.

"We can not turn a blind eye to China's mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy", he said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Japan's stock market benchmark fell 1.2 percent while Hong Kong's main index lost 1.7 percent and the Shanghai Composite index dropped 2.1 percent.

The United States complained China used predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance.

Read the entire Wall Street Journal report here. President Donald Trump has threatened higher tariffs on more than US$500 billion of goods, or almost all of China's annual exports to the United States.

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.

Washington, DC, July 11, 2018-Flooring is included on a list of products imported from China that could face tariffs of 10% from the U.S.

President Donald Trump has threatened to raise duties on nearly everything Americans buy from China. "And there are some reasons to believe that over the short term, the Chinese are better positioned to manage this", says Robert Ross, a professor of political science at Boston College and an expert on U.S.

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

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch called it "reckless", adding that the tariffs were "not a targeted approach".

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. "But more tariffs like these will punish America's manufacturing workers - and could undermine our hard-won gains thanks to tax and regulatory reform". Imposing taxes on another $200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of every-day goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators.

But China also faces difficulties in retaliating directly: it ships far more goods to the United States ($506 billion a year ago, according to U.S. figures) than come back in the opposite direction ($130 billion).

Beijing offered to boost USA exports to China, particularly of agriculture and energy products, by around $100 billion, but this was dismissed by Trump and his officials as not addressing the central issues. This will allow the two countries enough time to settle their high-stakes trade dispute through negotiations.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Washington's threats were "typical bullying" and described the dispute as a "fight between unilateralism and multilateralism".

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