Trump to Pull Tariff Trigger at Midnight in Trade-War Escalation

Saturday, 07 Jul, 2018

The National Retail Federation: "With tariffs against China taking effect, American consumers are one step closer to feeling the full effects of a trade war", Matthew Shay, president and CEO of The National Retail Federation, said in a statement Friday.

The president believes this is the best way to close the trade deficit between the U.S. and China.

He has also accused China of subsidising steel exports in a practice amounting to dumping - selling a product at an artificially low price - on the rest of the world, which he argues has hurt jobs in the US.

China accused the U.S. of launching the "largest trade war in economic history", saying it was "typical trade bullying" that could trigger "global market turmoil".

"What we are trying to do here is simply defend ourselves against China's economic aggression", White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told reporters in June. In all, Trump planned to implement tariffs on about 1,100 goods (worth $50 billion a year).

Trump has railed against Beijing for intellectual property theft and barriers to entry for U.S. businesses and a $375 billion U.S. trade deficit with China. The newspaper quoted observers as saying there was "anecdotal evidence" of a build-up in sanctions against United States businesses.

Some U.S. companies scrambled Friday to reach China before the tariff deadline.

China, whose economy has grown tenfold since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, poses a much more formidable adversary. "And it's making American companies less competitive", Gonzalez said.

"These tariffs are ill-conceived and totally inappropriate", Heck said. American officials worry US industrial leadership will be eroded by Chinese plans to create tech champions in fields including robotics, biotech and artificial intelligence.

It is unclear how long the trade war will last.

As the world's most developed nation and the rule-maker of the current global governing system, there is "astounding absurdity" in the USA complaining that it's been bullied in trade, the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China, said in a Chinese language commentary on Friday. But President Trump's fundamentally nativist outlook and his take-no-prisoners, give-no-quarter negotiating style, Indian officials are acknowledging privately, comes as a sobering reminder that there is no such thing as a free lunch or friendship based on geo-politics with a businessman-President.

It's also bigger than the $506 billion of goods that the United States imported from China previous year.

Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecast only a modest escalation in the US-China battle, adding: "However, we can't rule out a full-blown, recession-inducing "trade war".

If enacted, the import duty would make USA oil less competitive than other crudes, likely causing a decline in Chinese purchases and forcing US oil firms to find other buyers.

The United States and China slid into an unprecedented trade war on Friday.

This will be affected by how high individual tariffs are, and also if they are expanded to other countries like Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

"It is troubling that the administration continues to assume that the imposition of tariffs will convince China to resolve complex trade issues, and irresponsible to downplay the impact on American workers and businesses", said Josh Kallmer, executive vice president for policy with the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents companies like Amazon and Intel.

The list avoids direct tariffs on consumer goods such as cellphones and footwear.