US ‘opening fire’ on world with tariff threats, says China

06 July, 2018, 00:43 | Author: Teresa Adams
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Relations have soured between US President Donald Trump's administration and that of Chinese President Xi Jinping since they met in Beijing past year, sparking fears of an all-out trade war.

"We do not want to fight it, but in order to safeguard the interests of the country and the people, we have no choice but to fight", said China´s commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng.

"If these tariffs are added, then we will definitely have to adjust (our prices) a little", said Zhao Yanmei, an assistant manager at a branch of Jenny Lou's global supermarket chain in northeast Beijing.

"While each measure on its own has small macroeconomic effects, the combination of the measures, the supply chain disruptions and the increased business uncertainty could spell trouble for the United States economy", Daco said. Separately, China's customs agency said retaliatory tariffs on United States goods will come immediately after USA duties on China kick in.

The United States is "opening fire" on the world with its threatened tariffs, the Chinese government warned on Thursday, saying Beijing will respond the instant U.S. measures go into effect as the two locked horns in a bitter trade war.

The influential US Chamber of Commerce, with headquarters just steps from the White House, urged Trump this week to reconsider his actions, saying the counter-tariffs now affected $75 billion in American exports and endangered US jobs. According to Bloomberg, President Trump will cut as much as half a percentage point from staggering growth levels of around 6.9 percent.

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But economists also say the trade war comes as the period of synchronized expansion among the world´s largest economies, which is bolstering demand for United States goods and services, may be starting to run out of steam, raising the risks that tariffs could harm growth.

Despite the escalating rhetoric and explosive tweets, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, attacked Presdient Trump last week for not being tougher on China.

China's imports from the USA were just US$130 billion a year ago and so Beijing does not have the capacity to hit back in kind, raising speculation it could respond by creating administrative headaches for companies in China.

China rejected "threats and blackmail" ahead of planned US tariff hike, striking a defiant stance Thursday in a dispute companies worry could flare into a full-blown trade war and chill the global economy.

The Chinese government has promised to respond with tariffs on equal measure soon after Trump's tariffs go into effect.

He emphasised that USA tariffs on Chinese exports will hurt both Chinese and foreign firms.

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China is expected to retaliate as soon as the United States tariffs go into effect, imposing duties on goods worth roughly the same amount but with a greater emphasis on politically sensitive agricultural products.

The U.S. also has irked some of its closest allies by hiking import duties on steel, aluminum and autos from Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico.

Chinese stocks have taken a beating in recent weeks, entering a bear market, as concerns about the trade-war have mingled with worries about how an ongoing debt-control campaign will feed through into the outlook for economic growth. Now it is attempting to resort to an all-out trade and economic war to hold back China's normal development.

Beijing denies it's in the wrong and says it's ready to fight a trade war until the end.

This set off furious negotiations, which eventually resulted in a tentative trade agreement between the Trump administration and Chinese officials.

If Trump followed through on both threats, almost all of China's exports to the USA would be subject to tariffs.

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Both Chinese and USA business sources in China said there appeared to be little hope that the tariffs could be averted.

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