China says US tariff threat runs against trend of the times

Trump mulls raising tariffs on China imports to 25%

Earlier in the day foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang used equally strong language to warn the USA away from what it termed "blackmail".

It is quite possible that the US-China rates are so high that the negotiations are simply bound to move into a more constructive direction.

Saying it was "forced to act", Beijing cast the move as a response to Trump's threat on Wednesday to raise a proposed tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent.

That reflected American frustration that Beijing retaliated by raising its own duties on USA imports in response to tariff hikes on Chinese goods over complaints the communist government steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Democrats and Republicans have complained that China's ability to sell goods in the United States at a lower cost than USA companies has put thousands of American firms out of business, costing manufacturing jobs and hurting the US economy.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders countered by telling reporters Friday that "instead of retaliating, China should address longstanding concerns about its unfair trading practices".

Whether or not the duties ultimately go into effect, the uncertainty is already creating turmoil for several businesses as they weigh their options for sourcing and production, with some scrambling to import goods before next month.

China has urged the United States to return to rationality after President Donald Trump's administration ratcheted up pressure on Beijing over trade. Trump has imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports and another $34 billion in goods, mostly industrial equipment.

Mr. Scissor also added the strategy would only be meaningful if the United States administration resolves trade disputes with United States allies such as the European Union.

"Escalating tariffs against China is the wrong approach to address legitimate concerns US businesses have with China's harmful practices", said Myron Brilliant, head of worldwide affairs for the US Chamber of Commerce.

"First, I suggest the US take the right attitude and not to try to blackmail China as it doesn't work", spokesman Geng Shuang said in response to a question.

The administration last month released a list of thousands Chinese products it wants to slap with an additional 10 percent in tariffs, ranging from television components to handbags and seafood to baseball gloves.

Recognizing this dynamic, a policymaker who is serious about reducing the USA trade deficit would at least consider controlling capital inflows to the United States, either by creating regulations that make it more hard for foreigners to invest in the US, or by taxing such investment.

The US and China implemented tariffs on $46 billion worth of each others' goods in July. In this scenario, to which Moody's assigns a 60% probability, USA gross domestic product would be reduced by about 0.1 percentage point at the peak of the trade confrontation, in mid 2019. "The 25 percent duty would be applied to the proposed list of products previously announced on July 10".

Worsening trade tension between the two countries would not affect China's stance on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Wang said.

In a statement, Lighthizer said the proposed higher tariff is meant to provide the administration with additional options to encourage Beijing to change its trade practices. This trend should surprise absolutely no one since slapping tariffs on individual countries will only serve to shift the source of America's imports to countries unaffected by tariffs, while the Chinese government has more than enough tools at its disposal to counteract new tariffs with additional subsidies.

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