Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

China hikes tariffs on USA soybeans, electric cars, fish

China hikes tariffs on USA soybeans, electric cars, fish

China will impose additional 25 percent tariffs on 659 US goods worth $50 billion in response to the USA announcement that it will levy tariffs on Chinese imports, the Chinese commerce ministry said.

As part of the tariff announcement this morning, the White House promised to "pursue additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures, such as imposing new tariffs on United States goods, services, or agricultural products".

China retaliated, saying it would impose an additional 25% tariff on 659 United States goods worth $50bn. The first wave of 25 per cent US tariffs will hit US$34 billion (S$46 billion) in goods and take effect on July 6, with another US$16 billion still to be reviewed, the US Trade Representative (USTR) said.

Saying that the Americans are flip-flopping in the issue, the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing said: "This move not only hurts bilateral interests, but also undermines world trade order". Beijing immediately said it will place 25 percent tariffs on 106 American goods worth $50 billion.

USA soybean futures plummeted earlier this week on fears that a trade war was brimming and China would follow through on its threat of a 25 percent soybean tariff. The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal were among the publications reporting overnight that Trump, fresh from his return from the Singapore Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has chose to enact significant tariffs on Chinese goods.

An official in charge of the Office of the Customs Tariff Commission said that the additional tariffs targeting Chinese goods, once imposed, would "substantially change" the trade conditions of these goods, and affect relevant producers and trade companies as well as the production and operation of the upstream and downstream industries.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry says it will immediately impose penalties of "equal strength" on US products.

A ministry statement isn't giving details, but a $50 billion list of possible targets announced in April included soybeans, light aircraft, orange juice, whiskey and beef.

China went on to call for other countries to join it in pressuring the end the trade war.

Mr Trump has also previously warned of "additional tariffs" should China hit back.

A farmer in OH found himself in the cross hairs of a global trade war on Friday.

The moves increase the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

United States trade representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said: "China's government is aggressively working to undermine America's high-tech industries and our economic leadership through unfair trade practices and industrial policies like Made in China 2025". "Thus, there will be an impact on growth, in China, the USA and elsewhere, at a sensitive time for the global economy". Earlier, in mid-May, the United States and China had announced a cease-fire after two rounds of trade negotiations.

Within minutes of the announcement China said it planned to impose tariff measures of similar size and intensity.

U.S. officials say Beijing has sought industrial dominance in the emerging technologies through the theft of American know-how through forced technology transfers, hacking and other forms industrial espionage.

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