As Trump embraces more tariffs, United States business readies public fight

17 September, 2018, 07:11 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Trump greenlights tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products – reports

He vowed last week to increase tariffs to hit an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports "very soon" unless China agreed to steps that would reduce its massive trade surplus.

"We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us", Trump tweeted.

The Ministry of Commerce confirmed on Thursday that China has received an invitation from the United States to reopen trade talks, saying it welcomes the move.

"China has always held that an escalation of the trade conflict", Geng said, "is not in anyone's interests". The White House did not immediately comment on the reports.

"And so, Secretary Mnuchin, who is the team leader with China, has apparently issued an invitation".

The U.S. side has proposed to have the discussions in the coming weeks, and has asked the Chinese to dispatch a ministerial-level delegation for the talks.

Washington has demanded that Beijing better protect American intellectual property, cut its USA trade surplus, allow US companies greater access to its markets and roll back its high-technology industrial subsidy programs. However, China's imports from the United States are worth $200 billion a year less than American imports from China, so it would run out of room to match USA sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week said that in addition to preparing tariffs on another $200 billion worth of goods, he had tariffs on another $267 billion worth of goods "ready to on short notice if I want".

ENERGY: Oil prices eased after extending gains on the Energy Information Administration's announcement that USA crude stockpiles fell by more than 5 million barrels last week. Trump had earlier threatened to impose tariffs on practically all imports from China unless the country offered concessions.

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The invitation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The United States and China have imposed tariffs on $50 billion of each other's goods since July as trade frictions between the world's two biggest economies worsened, despite several rounds of negotiations.

Some 64 percent of companies that responded to the AmCham survey, conducted between August 29 and September 5, said the first round of tariffs that Trump slapped on $50 billion in Chinese imports this year have negatively affected their operations, while 63 percent said the same about the equal amount of levies Beijing imposed in retaliation.

The business lobby urged Washington to reconsider its approach.

The initiators of the initiative created a coalition called Americans for Free Trade, which is made up of companies from multiple industries, ranging from toys to technology, and aims to highlight the negative consequences of tariffs.

"We share the concerns of the USA regarding China's trade and investment practices, but continuing along the path of tariff escalation is extremely unsafe", the European chamber president, Mats Harborn, said in a statement.

"Washington's overall attitude is still tough, but they do not reject a "talk and fight" strategy".

"The sugar high of the lower taxes and the reduced rules that have fueled the stock market since the president was elected are in jeopardy", said Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Technology Association, whose members include IBM Corp and Facebook Inc He warned that some of his members were also considering layoffs.

"China must hold the expectation that it is probably not the time when both sides can reach an agreement".



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