China says it will fight US tariffs at any cost

Saturday, 07 Apr, 2018

The tariffs on soybeans have grabbed much of the attention because they are the US's biggest single export to China, and will affect a number of rural states that heavily backed Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers.

"The easiest thing for me to do would be just to close my eyes and forget it", he said during a Friday morning radio interview.

China buys 61 per cent of all the nation's soybean export and more than 30 per cent of the overall U.S. soybean production - a market worth more than US$14 billion.

The ministry said in a statement Friday that if Washington persisted in what Beijing describes as protectionism, China would "dedicate itself to the end and at any cost and will definitely fight back firmly".

"The announcement that the administration may issue 100 billion dollars in additional tariffs on Chinese products is irresponsible and destabilising", Dean Garfield, head of the Information Technology Industry Council, said. "It's really unclear. who he listens to for policy advice", he said.

Trump tweeted Friday: "Despite the Aluminum Tariffs, Aluminum prices are DOWN 4%". He tweets, "People are surprised, I'm not!"

"China can ditch American energy at any time because there's plenty of supplies elsewhere, whereas for the US, energy is a sensitive subject", said Will Yun, a commodities analyst at Hyundai Futures in Seoul.

Trump's unexpected move on China threatens to unravel efforts by top USA and Chinese trade officials to lower the heat and reach an agreement that could stave off an escalating conflict. "We don't want a trade war, but we are not afraid of such a war", the spokesperson was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency. "None of this supports growth and employment". The administration later stressed that any additional tariffs first would be subject to a 60-day public comment period. Stocks plunged on Monday, but they rallied over the next few days as officials from both countries said they were open to talks and that the tariffs might never go into effect.

"China has chosen to respond thus far with threats to impose unjustified tariffs on billions of dollars in U.S. exports, including our agricultural products", Lighthizer said. Even though investors are optimistic about the state of the global economy and company profits continue to grow, Nixon said the administration is creating the thing investors hate the most: uncertainty. "This is business", Navarro said. Going further to add that China is prepared to follow suit and fight the U.S.at any cost.

China is the world's top producer of steel and aluminium, but it accounts for only 2 percent of steel imports into the United States and 10 percent of aluminium.

But economists warn that the tit-for-tat moves bear the hallmarks of a classic trade rift that could escalate.

The dollar fell in Friday's trade, while USA stock futures and most of Asia's stock markets were in the red. "We're not quite sure what the long term strategy is". "We have to have some balance". "It's hard to tell the difference between a rhetorical flourish from a president known for bombastic remarks and a meaningful shift in policy". China said that its timing depends on what Trump does.

"We'll see, hopefully this will have a very happy end", he added, noting China is to blame for the confrontation.

Earlier in the week, Beijing announced separate import duties on $3 billion of USA goods in response to the Trump administration's duties on all steel and aluminum imports, including from China. The earlier tariff threats roiled financial markets but they had rebounded Thursday on investor hopes the US and China indicated would find a diplomatic solution. Worries about a potential trade war have rippled through farm states, which are a powerful voting bloc in November's congressional elections. He said that China has put in place "detailed countermeasures" and those measures "don't exclude any options".

The US government on Tuesday threatened to levy import taxes on more than 1,300 Chinese products, including TVs, dishwashers and printers.