Skip to main content

Trump targets another $200 billion — trade war update, day six

The U.S.-China trade war is getting ugly, fast.

Before day five of the confrontation even came to the end, Bloomberg broke the news (paywall) that American officials were drawing up lists of additional Chinese products totaling $200 billion to tax at a 10 percent rate, to be published “likely this week.”

NEW U.S. DEMANDS

That list was released only hours later by the U.S. Trade Representative — see the full 205-page PDF of it here — along with a firm statement by the office’s head, Robert Lighthizer, who promised more escalation until the U.S. could achieve “the elimination of China’s harmful industrial policies” and see “China opening its market to U.S. goods and services.”

“The new tariffs won’t take effect for at least two months,” and “hearings on the products are scheduled for Aug. 20-23,” the Wall Street Journal reports(paywall).“Chinese fish, petroleum, chemicals, handbags, textiles” are among the products to be taxed if this second large round of much broader tariffs is implemented, the New York Times notes (paywall).“Tonight’s announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach,” Orrin Hatch, the Republican senator from Utah, said in a statement cited by the Journal and the Times, highlighting the increased controversy that the new tariffs could bring.Not on the schedule, at least for now, are any negotiations to de-escalate the conflict, according to “officials in both nations,” the Journal says.China is highly unlikely to back down on its industrial policies, by which Lighthizer means the Made in China 2025 initiative.The U.S. wants unilateral market opening, rather than a negotiated settlement on trade in goods through, say, the World Trade Organization. Dennis Shea, the U.S. ambassador to the WTO, told that body that “the WTO currently does not offer all of the tools necessary to remedy this situation,” and urged, “The best solution is for China finally to take the initiative to fully and effectively embrace open, market-oriented policies,” according to Reuters.

CHINESE GOVERNMENT REACTIONS

Officials are branding China as a protector of free trade in the conflict:

“This is a fight between unilateralism and multilateralism, protectionism and free trade, and between hegemony and rules,” Ministry of Finance spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, the Washington Post reports.“They go low, we go high,” Li Chenggang, an assistant minister at China’s Ministry of Commerce, said at a forum in Beijing with the City of Chicago, employing a Democratic Party slogan popularized by former first lady Michelle Obama in 2016, according to Bloomberg (porous paywall).Beijing sees this as an “economic cold war,” a “source close to decision makers in Beijing” told the South China Morning Post, and is “trying to convince governments, organizations and companies — including U.S. firms — that it is a champion of free trade, and send a message that, in contrast to Trump’s ‘America first’ policy, China is ‘still open for business’ and wants to keep globalization on track.”“To defend the core interests of the nation and the fundamental interests of the people, the Chinese government will, as always, be forced to take necessary countermeasures,” a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce said, according to Xinhua.

MARKET REACTIONS

Chinese domestic financial markets are nervous:

“On Wednesday, China’s stocks fell,with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index losing 1.8 percent and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong down 1.3 percent. The offshore yuan weakened to test 6.7 against the U.S. dollar — a level that Beijing defended only a week ago,” the SCMP notes.To prevent Chinese markets from further tumbling, or from a boycott against U.S. goods from taking off and escalating the conflict further, government officials have instructed state media to downplay the conflict and “be careful not to link [criticism] to Trump and instead to aim it at the U.S. government,” Reuters reports.“The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 219 points, or 0.88%, to 24,700, the S&P 500 slid 0.71 percent and the Nasdaq was down 0.55 percent,” reports TheStreet.com, while the Financial Times said (paywall), “U.S. futures slid” and “industrial stocks were back under fire again” after the new tariff announcements: “Boeing is down 1.2 percent, Caterpillar dropped 1.5 percent and Deere shed 2 percent.” CNBC reports that “Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices and Broadcom were among those falling more than 1 percent in trading… on fears about the escalating trade war.”

OTHER TRADE WAR NOTES

Industrial espionage
Chinese firm denies involvement in alleged theft of Apple self-driving car tech by its new employee / SCMPEffect on China-Germany relations
U.S.-China trade row helped BASF land $10 billion Guangdong chemical coup: Sources / ReutersForeign ownership of auto plants
After Tesla deal, Shanghai to speed up cancellation of foreign ownership limits / ReutersZTE
ZTE executives meet with U.S. Commerce Department officials to work out final details of compliance deal / SCMP

—Lucas Niewenhuis

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

https://www.dawn.com/news/1366135

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

Germany’s Siemens sets up Belt and Road office in Beijing

https://gbtimes.com/germanys-siemens-sets-up-belt-and-road-office-in-beijing
Germany’s Siemens sets up Belt and Road office in Beijingby Janne Suokas Mar 23, 2018 15:20 TRADEINVESTMENTBELT AND ROAD INITIATIVEGerman industrial and engineering group Siemens will set up a Belt and Road office in Beijing. surberFlickrCC BY 2.0
German industrial and engineering group Siemens will set up an office in Beijing to boost international cooperation under China’s Belt and Road initiative, the company said on Friday.The move will help strengthen Siemens’ cooperation with Chinese and international companies and expand business opportunities brought about by the Belt and Road initiative, according to the company’s statement.The Belt and Road initiative is China’s ambitious project to boost trade and infrastructure investment in more than 65 countries along the ancient Silk Road trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa.Siemens said it had already partnered with hundreds of Chinese companies in overse…