A Better Way to Challenge China on Trade

A Better Way to Challenge China on Trade

A Better Way to Challenge China on Trade

China's commerce ministry warned that a 15 percent tariff on 120 goods worth nearly $1 billion - including fresh fruit, nuts and wine - would be imposed if the USA fails to reach a "trade compensation agreement" within an unspecified time frame.

The value of US wine exports to China alone increased 450 percent in the past decade, the industry group said.

Politico reported that Trump directed his administration to take action that will likely result in tariffs on a proposed list of 1,300 products.

He says the move will make the US a "much stronger, much richer nation".

U.S. markets suffered their worst day since the February 8 sell-off, with the Dow Jones index tumbling by 724 points, or 2.9 per cent, to 23,960.

The administration is expected to impose trade sanctions on China later Thursday.

First we shielded Canada and Mexico.

In a statement on its website, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the USTR had filed a request - at the direction of Trump - for consultations with China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to address "discriminatory technology licensing agreements".

The order also directs the US Treasury to develop new proposals to increase safeguards against Chinese investments in the US that could compromise national security.

The sparring between China and the USA has cast a spotlight on hardware makers such as Apple, which assemble the majority of their products in China for export to other countries. The president suggested the total value of the tariffs could go as high as $60 billion.

The tariffs are aimed at curbing what Trump calls "a tremendous intellectual property theft problem". Also, the USA only exported US$300 million worth of steel to China, while China exported US$840 million to the U.S.

There was no explanation of the difference between that figure and Trump's $US60 billion.

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White House officials said Thursday the actions capped years of efforts to encourage China to end the alleged unfair practices through negotiations.

Lighthizer acknowledged those concerns during testimony this week before the House Ways and Means Committee. Many are still reliant on domestic consumers for revenue, reducing their exposure in the event of a trade war.

"From China's perspective, it absolutely does not want to see a trade war. So we have to do something".

The United States had a record $375.2 billion goods trade deficit with China past year.

ClearView reiterated its estimate that exemptions to the steel tariff would have sheltered about 35%, or 12.07 million metric tons (mmt) of steel imported during the 2017 calendar year, or about 40% (about 2.04 mmt) of USA pipeline steel imports. China accounts for the largest share of the U.S. trade deficit. Those tariffs, which take effect on Friday, have already been watered down. By that date, President Trump "will decide whether to continue to exempt these countries from the tariffs, based on the status of the discussions".

Trump on Thursday signed a memorandum announcing the trade actions, invoking Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, which formed the basis for the administration's investigation.

"China does not want a trade war with anyone".

"If a trade war is forced on us, we have to fight back".

For decades, the Chinese regime's protectionist and trade-distorting policies have weakened the competitiveness of American companies.

Though Trump ultimately follows his own instincts, Bolton "will have a sort of influence on Trump's foreign diplomacy because they share a similar view on matters such as ideology, threats to USA national security and values", said Yu Wanli, professor at the Peking University's School of International Relations in Beijing.

But White House trade adviser Peter Navarro defended the president's move.

"The question on exemptions is whether they are linked to conditions", Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters.

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