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U.S., China Trade Spat Persists

Keith Bradsher and Cao Li reported in Saturday’s New York Times that, “China threatened on Friday to tax an additional $60 billion a year worth of imports from the United States if the Trump administration imposes its own new levies on Chinese goods.

“The threat comes just two days after President Trump ordered his administration to consider increasing the rate of tariffs it has already proposed on $200 billion a year of Chinese goods — everything from chemicals to handbags — to 25 percent from 10 percent.”

Although news reports indicate that the new Chinese duties “is leaving the farm largely unscathed,” ongoing concerns about the trade war persist, particularly as it relates to U.S. soybean exports.

Background

Financial Times writers Demetri Sevastopulo and Shawn Donnan reported late last week that, “Barely a week after Donald Trump agreed to a ceasefire in his trade war with Europe, the US president has dramatically upped the ante in his battle with China by proposing even higher tariffs on Chinese imports.

“The threat to raise duties on some $200bn of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 per cent took some by surprise since it came just after Mr Trump had eased concerns in the US about trade friction with Europe.

“But the escalation — which Beijing described as ‘blackmail’ — suggests that Mr Trump has decided to focus his firepower on China as he gears up for the critical midterm elections in November.”

Reuters writer Christian Shepherd reminded readers Friday that, “[The U.S.] wants China to stop stealing U.S. corporate secrets, abandon plans to boost its high-tech industries at America’s expense and stop subsidizing Chinese companies with cheap loans that enable them to compete unfairly.

“China says the United States is trying to stop the rise of a competitor and it has imposed its own tariffs on U.S. goods. The rising tensions have weighed on stock and currency markets, with the Chinese yuan falling against the dollar.

The two countries have not had formal talks on their trade dispute since early June.

Also Friday, Wall Street Journal writers Lingling Wei and Bob Davis reported that, “China is planning to impose tariffs on a majority of its U.S. imports, a move designed to match the Trump administration’s tariff threats blow-for-blow that is bound to further intensify trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.”

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