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China's Economic Czar Warns US Treasury Secretary on Tariffs
25 March 2018, 12:40 | Deanna Wagner
China's hitting the US where it hurts: In the pork belly
Countries affected by the measures, like China, can under WTO rules retaliate with tariffs on USA goods worth a sum equivalent to the trading loss they would suffer from the US tariffs.
"It now provides us with the breathing room to find a more permanent solution".
If China and the US can't reach an agreement on steel and aluminum trade, after a public consultation period which ends March 31, Beijing could begin collecting tariffs of 15 percent on imports worth $977 million, including fresh fruit, nuts, wines, denatured alcohol, ginseng, and seamless steel tubes.
Washington doesn't believe it needs to give Chinese leaders another list of requests because they already know what the United States wants, said a senior USA official, who briefed reporters on condition he not be identified further. "China relationship", tweeted Ely Ratner, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who served as deputy national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.
The administration formally justified its tariffs by invoking Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows the president to impose tariffs on countries in violation of global trade deals.
In a second phase, a 25 percent duty would be imposed on a eight goods totalling almost $2 billion, including pork and aluminium scrap, after "further evaluating the impact of the USA measures on China", it said in a statement.
The government also criticized the use of the national security rationale and said it destabilizes worldwide order.
The measures suspending tariff concessions will target 128 U.S. products including pork, wines and seamless steel tubes, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.
But a senior USA official later said that Washington was "not interested in creating terms for a dialogue".
A Chinese commerce ministry official said both sides were in touch. "Trump is using the issue for political gain rather than actual trade repositioning", he says.
The tariffs come in response to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's 2017 investigation, showing evidence of intellectual property theft carried out by China. Then he unveiled the steel and aluminum tariffs, saying reliance on imported metals jeopardizes US national security.
Trump also directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to propose new investment restrictions on Chinese companies within 60 days to safeguard technologies the U.S. views as strategic, said senior White House economic adviser Everett Eissenstat.
Chinese officials have said that protecting foreign companies' intellectual property rights is important to China.
The latest trade action sent stocks diving as fears rise that the United States, which accuses China of mass theft of intellectual property and other unfair practises, could provoke a damaging trade war.
The US administration's increasing focus on punishing China was evident in its decision to exempt allies like the EU, South Korea, Brazil, Canada and Mexico from what were supposed to be worldwide tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. China also was the third-largest market for USA pork and fourth-largest market for U.S. beef by value in 2017.
The threat of steel and aluminum tariffs is back on.
China announced reciprocal tariff measures on some United States products, including pork, fruit and wine and recycled metals. The company said that in the 2017-36 period, China will need 7,240 new planes, with a value of nearly US$1.1 trillion.
"It's remarkable how badly Xi Jinping has mishandled and damaged the U.S".
China is unlikely to respond until Washington acts but might launch an investigation of imports of USA corn and soybeans "as a warning shot", said Parker.
Beijingreported a trade surplus of $275.8 billion with the United States previous year, or two-thirds of its global total.
Why has the United States of America chose to impose these economic tariffs on China?
Li said Beijing would "fully open" manufacturing, with "no mandatory requirement for technology transfers".
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