China targets $3 billion of US goods in tariff spat

25 March, 2018, 01:39 | Author: Austin Daniel

On Thursday, Trump announced plans for tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese goods for what he says is misappropriation of USA intellectual property, moving the world's two largest economies closer to a trade war. Total theft of US trade secrets accounts for anywhere from $180 billion to $540 billion per year, according to the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property - as "the world's principal IP infringer", China accounts for the most of that theft.

"Reports indicate that "apparel" and "textiles" will be on the list, but there has been nothing more specific than that to date", HPFA counsel Robert Leo noted in an email to association members yesterday afternoon.

China has made great efforts to be constructive to try and deal with the trade frictions in the face of USA provocation, the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily wrote in a commentary.

Mr Trump has made good on his election promise to confront China - and reduce the US$500 billion trade deficit between the rival superpowers.

The European Union and other trade partners dismiss that as an excuse and say the USA merely wants to give its companies a boost.

There is a chance select product categories could get exempted from the tariffs.

According to a document on accelerating the development of the rehabilitation and assistive tool industry released by the State Council in 2016, China's assistive device industry will hit 700 billion yuan (110.6 billion US dollars) by 2020.

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The list noticeably does not include soybeans, a key U.S. export from Trump-voting states that Chinese state-run newspaper the Global Times had suggested should be targeted by Beijing. He said Trump and Xi agreed past year on a 100-day agenda of trade-liberalization measures but Beijing failed to act on about half of them.

Among the main concerns at the WTO over the Trump administration's move on steel and aluminum is that it is citing national security as a reason.

The move on tariffs is only the latest case of Trump undermining the WTO.

"The larger part of China's strategy, though, is to position itself as the good guy in the global economy, protecting the rules of the game from Trump's lawless attacks", he said.

China showed readiness to retaliate by declaring plans to levy additional duties on up to $3 billion of USA imports including fruit and wine in response to US import tariffs on steel and aluminium, which were due to go into effect on Friday. "It also demonstrated that the global community is concerned about the recklessness and danger of US policies and actions". Chinese President Xi Jinping sent two high-level envoys to Washington last month, but neither managed to resolve the situation, he pointed out. We have great relationships with China. He has publicly called on China to shave $100 billion off that figure. But now many worry about economic blowback from his combative approach.

"We are competing, and winning, with our exports to China growing nicely from zero to about 2.5 million boxes per year", said Jim Bair, CEO of the U.S. Apple Association, a trade group. -China trade war ranked as the most-read topic on Friday.

"This is number one, but it's the first of many", Donald Trump said.

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