Thursday, 26 April, 2018

China urges USA to 'pull back from brink' as Trump unveils tariffs

China says WTO ruling on Obama tariffs shows US is a 'repeat abuser' China considers possible tariffs on $3b worth of US goods
Diane Mills | 25 March, 2018, 01:39

The American pork industry sent $1.1 billion in products, making China the No. 3 market for USA pork.

On March 23, the US President imposed massive trade tariffs amounting to United States dollars 60 billion on China, in an effort to stop the latter from stealing "intellectual property" from American companies.

"Beijing is extending an olive branch and urging the U.S.to resolve trade disputes through dialogue rather than tariffs", said economist Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report. "We are buying more rapeseed meal, for example", said one of the sources.

As Beijing and Washington exchange barbs that threaten a potential trade war, health-conscious Chinese shoppers are beginning to fret over what this could mean for their pockets: a potential jump in prices for USA -grown cherries and pistachios. The Trump administration says it wants to impose the tariffs in response to China's "economic aggression". The WTO allows a country to set up tariffs for that reason, but it is something of a taboo among countries to do so because if one country invokes national security, it increases the chance that others might as well.

China's response Friday appeared to be aimed at increasing domestic US pressure on Trump by making clear which exporters, including farm areas that voted for him in 2016, might be hurt.

Chinese citizens took to social media to register their backing for a resolute response to Mr Trump's package of tariffs. Once the World Trade Organization began moderating global trade in 1995, use of Section 301 virtually disappeared.

The stakes are high: China is America's largest trading partner.

It retaliated on Friday afternoon with plans for more than $4 billion in tariffs on USA pork, aluminium, wine and other products.

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The gains to the US economy aren't limited to Silicon Valley.

"But Washington was determined to choose rashness and impetuousness, and the necessary effect from this was China's follow-up actions to resolutely protect its own legitimate interests", it said.

Trump said he views the Chinese as "a friend", and both sides are in the midst of negotiations.

Another concern remains how Chinese President Xi Jinping himself will respond as he consolidates power.

Chen contended, however, that even if the United States and China reach a compromise on the tariff plan, endless trade disputes could occur in the future, and the US would still have to appeal to the WTO and go through the WTO's dispute and settlement mechanism before it could retaliate.

By including the WTO in its framework, the Trump administration is still working through established channels.

Noting that consultations are the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process, the USTR said if the U.S. and China are not able to reach a mutually agreed solution through consultations, the Trump Administration may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel to review the matter.

Late Thursday, China issued a response through its US embassy: "China does not want a trade war with anyone", the statement said.

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