Charting the US-China trade battle

The United States imposed $34 billion in tariffs on Chinese products Friday, and Beijing hit back with its own fiscal punishment and slammed the Trump administration for igniting "the biggest trade war in economic history".

Hun Quach, vice president of worldwide trade for Retail Industry Leaders Association, said USA retailers will also deal with the fallout from tariffs. Chinese tariffs are meant to hit USA producers of aircraft, cars, soybeans and other farm goods.

There was confusion about exactly what U.S. products would be hit in the initial wave of tariffs as China's Commerce Ministry had not published an updated list.

A possible prolonged trade war may also lead to slowdown in global economy, ultimately affecting Bangladesh's export, which is concentrated on single sector -readymade garment items.

China's commerce ministry, in a statement shortly after the U.S. deadline passed at 0401 GMT on Friday, said it was forced to retaliate, meaning imported USA goods including cars, soybeans, and lobsters also faced 25 per cent tariffs. The Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said tariffs were imposed on a list of goods issued last month that included soybeans, pork and electric vehicles.

Washington imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of imports from China, the first in a series of possible increases that President Donald Trump says could affect up to $550 billion of Chinese goods, more than the total amount China exported to the USA previous year. In mid-June, Mexico warned it could strike $4 billion worth of US corn and soy imports if President Trump imposes new tariffs, Reuters reported.

Similarly, China is placing 25% tariffs on a host of goods including crude oil and soybeans. The move prompted China to retaliate the same way.

Last month, the European Union imposed tariffs on American goods worth Dollars 3 billion such as yachts, bourbon and motorcycles.

Many of those industries have their roots in the Midwest and southern United States, areas that helped propel President Donald Trump to victory in 2016 on the promise of putting America first.

Canatella says he hopes the tariffs are resolved before harvest season starts in October.

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The government said previously it would hit more than 500 USA export items - including cars and major agricultural goods such as soybeans and meat - worth the same as the Chinese products targeted by the United States.

China's commerce ministry said it had lodged a new complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

So the ongoing trade war is the culmination of Trump's trade protectionism.

Simply put, the Trump administration is apparently trying to hold China in check to prevent the Middle Kingdom from catching up with the U.S.in high tech industrial fields.

Beijing vowed to take "necessary countermeasures" after the United States imposed 25 percent duties on about $34 billion in Chinese machinery, electronics and high-tech equipment, including autos, computer hard drives and LEDs.

Aside from the $34 billion in Chinese products, Trump said Thursday, "You have another 16 (billion dollars) in two weeks and then, as you know, we have $200 billion in abeyance and then after the $200 billion, we have $300 billion in abeyance". He and his administration should realize that there will be no winners in this trade war.

In May, the White House announced that Washington intends to impose restrictions on certain China's investments and 25% customs duties on certain categories of its goods supplied to the United States market.

-China tit-for-tat tariff fight is likely to shrink trade volume worldwide, which would weigh on the global economy that has been on a recovery track.

In the long run, growth in global economy would slow down due to feared fall in demand which would not be good for Bangladesh economy, Mansur said. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., highlighted further uncertainty caused by the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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