Trump Readies a Hefty Penalty on China

22 March, 2018, 01:13 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Trump Tariffs On China Make Steel Fight Look Minor

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has said that if the EU was not exempted, it would set retaliatory tariffs of 25 percent on a range of US products, whose annual imports to the bloc are worth 2.8 billion euros ($3.45 billion).

Meanwhile, China's Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday that there will be no victor from any trade war between China and the United States, and that he hopes both sides can remain "calm". Kequiang, who was recently voted into office for a second five-year term by China's parliament, said there would be no victor if a trade war breaks out between China and the United States.

Li's comments followed reports late Monday in Washington that the White House plans to impose tariffs worth as much as US$60 billion on Chinese products as one outcome of an investigation by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, extracting recompense for theft of intellectual property and investment policies that make technology transfer a precondition for doing business in China. "But we don't see any specific procedures for doing so", said Clement Leung, Hong Kong commissioner for economic and trade affairs. And he also vowed stronger protection for foreign companies' intellectual property.

Trump Said, "We're going to cut down the deficits one way or the other, we have a deficit with China of at least five hundred billion dollars and when you add an intellectual property, it's much higher than that, that's a year".

"The Chinese economy has deeply integrated into the global economy, closing our doors would mean blocking our own way", he said.

"If we want to negotiate something, we need more time", said Gabriel Felbermayr, director of Ifo Center for International Economics in Munich.

Li held back from making counter-threats even as the rumblings from Washington again ratchet up the likelihood of a full-scale trade war.

"This would have a moderate impact on growth in both the US and China", it said.

While China has stepped up its rhetoric, it is far from clear that Beijing is ready to take the next step and move to an economic confrontation that would pit the world's two leading economic powers against each other.

Just two days before tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum are scheduled to take effect, the Trump administration has yet to make public its plans for how the import levies will work in practice - creating confusion for its closest allies.

Eurofer estimates up to 13 million tonnes of steel that would have gone to the United States could be redirected due to Trump's tariffs, and says most of it could head to European Union markets.


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