Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Business | By Pearl Harrison

China warns of retaliation if United States takes more trade steps

China warns of retaliation if United States takes more trade steps

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.

But the two neighbors - and other US allies and trading partners - have slapped back with tariffs of their own, often aimed at USA farmers who supported Trump in the 2016 election.

It's unclear if the Chinese government is purposely pushing the value of its currency down or if that has been a market-based reaction to concerns about how USA tariffs could hurt China's economy.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, warned Tuesday that Beijing will "definitely fight back" to defend its "lawful rights and interests".

Conflicting signs over the state of U.S.

Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on virtually all of China's exports to the United States.

China warned the US against "blackmailing and pressuring" it over trade as the Trump administration mulls trying to force officials back to the negotiating table through threats of even higher tariffs.

The possible change in tariff rate will alter a public comment period for the proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods ranging from Chinese tilapia fish to furniture and lighting products, extending a comment deadline to September 5 from a previously announced deadline of August 30, the officials said.

The move signals displeasure among Trump's own party over his protectionist actions, but chances of it becoming law are slim as Congress would likely need to override a presidential veto by Trump.

The White House is considering increasing planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent, according to unnamed sources familiar with the issue, as quoted by Bloomberg.

China has already warned it would retaliate if the U.S. went ahead with the plan, accusing Washington of blackmail.

Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global economic growth, and prominent US business groups, while tired of what they see as China's mercantilist trade practices, have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.

"I think the uncertainty caused by the trade war with China is probably pushing businesses to bring in goods earlier to avoid potential duty rate increases while it all plays out", Eric Flicker, director of operations and supply chain at CL Apparel Marketing, wrote in a LinkedIn post.

While raising the bar on countermeasures at each point, China has also knocked the doors of the WTO dispute settlement body with trade disputes against the US's illegal and unilateral crowbar trade measures.

Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth, and prominent United States business groups have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.

Geng said China's door to dialogue on the trade dispute is open, but that it had to be based on mutual respect and equality.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will fight back should the US further increase tariffs.

Meanwhile, in corporate America, it appears that there is just one thing executives are talking about: tariffs.

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