Trump administration ups ante in trade fight with China

CAI MENG  CHINA DAILY

The Trump administration said it's weighing whether to increase the proposed tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent, stepping up pressure on Beijing to change its trade practices.

"We said before that this round of tariffs amounted to doubling down on the recklessness of imposing trade policy that will hurt USA families and workers more than they will hurt China", said Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation. The United States is far and away the most popular place for such investment, given the size and liquidity of markets for USA government debt and policies that are very friendly to foreign investors other financial assets and real estate. Administration officials are exploring an additional $200 billion of goods on which tariffs might be imposed. Beijing retaliated by imposing similar charges on the same amount of USA products. This would put pressure to hike rates in the U.S., in particular.

Earlier in the day foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang used equally strong language to warn the USA away from what it termed "blackmail".

The United States and China implemented tariffs on $34 billion worth of each others' goods in July. But they have rejected changing technology development plans they see as a path to prosperity and global influence.

In fact, tariffs in US-EU trade-or the trade between any two economies engaged in economic cooperation-are bound to fall, as that is what free trade is all about.

China's imports from the United States a year ago totaled $153.9 billion.

Trump has ultimately threatened tariffs on more than $500 billion in Chinese goods, covering virtually all USA imports from China.

"The money comes after farmers, especially soybean growers, have felt the brunt of retaliatory tariffs placed on agriculture by China and other nations that the Trump administration has penalized with tariffs on imports", NPR's Brian Naylor reported. China, on its part, has to raise the standards of its products and production to the level of Western countries', so as to transform the pressure from the developed economies, especially the United States, into an impetus for development, and emerge stronger after the tariff war launched by Trump is over.

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Chinese authorities warned earlier that if the dispute escalated, they would adopt unspecified "comprehensive measures". "So is the United States trying to put tariffs on its own companies?"

In its statement, however, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said China can achieve "high-quality" economic growth despite the toll exacted by tariffs: "China always holds on to the belief that bad things can be turned into good things".

On day 27 of the U.S.

While American and Chinese officials have hinted at the possibility of restarting talks in recent weeks, it's been nearly two months since they last held high-level negotiations.

"We would advise the United States to correct its attitude and not try to engage in blackmail".

"We have been very clear about the specific changes China should undertake", said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

As for developing countries, China included, they should deepen their cooperation in trade and expand their innovation capability while avoiding harmful competition.

It will raise about $US770 billion between now and the end of the year - more than 60 per cent higher than for the same period last year - to fund America's burgeoning budget deficit.

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