China warns of 'strong' measures to counter Trump's tariffs

10 March, 2018, 01:06 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • 5 2016 shows crew members of China's South Sea Fleet taking part in a drill in the Xisha Islands or the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea

"China does not want a trade war with the United States, but if the US takes actions to hurt China's interests, China will not sit idly by and will take the necessary measures", Zhang said.

China deserves credit for fostering the improved atmosphere, Wang said, pointing to Beijing's "freeze-for-freeze" proposal whereby the North would halt tests while the USA held off holding military exercises with South Korea.

The European Union said this week that it is ready to retaliate against Trump's tariffs - of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports - with counter-measures against iconic USA products like Harley Davidson motorcycles, Levi's jeans and bourbon.

Dangling exemptions for Canada and Mexico "undermines" the administration's argument that the tariffs are needed to protect United States national security, according to Inu Manak, a visiting scholar at the Cato Institute. "In a globalised world it is particularly unhelpful for the initiator as well as the target country", Mr Wang said of the rising trade friction.

"China will certainly make an appropriate and necessary response", Wang said at a news conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress in Beijing.

The dispute has also fuelled concern that soybeans, the United States' most valuable export to the world's No. 2 economy, might be caught up in tit-for-tat trade actions. "We expect USA major trade partners' reaction to be moderate, including by taking cases to the WTO".

Providing a better overall indication of China's trade performance in early 2018, exports grew by 24.4% in January and February from the same period a year earlier, suggesting that stronger economic conditions continues to support demand.

Chinese consumers angered by Trump could easily target one of the most visible USA brands.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday demanded in a tweet that China cut $US1 billion ($A1.28 billion) from its exports to the US.

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Adding to the tensions over the tariffs, Trump doubled down on China, which he accuses of unfair trade practices.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the trade deficit rose to $56.6 billion in January, up 5 percent from $53.9 billion in December and the highest since October 2008's $60.2 billion trade gap.

While China's global steel exports have dropped by nearly a third this year, tariffs on aluminium may be an easier sell for Trump, as China's shipments increased more than 35% in the first two months of the year.

"There is no case for imposing tariffs on Australian steel", Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

Trump is expected to formally roll out import tariffs on steel and aluminum this week, a move that could hit China and Russian Federation the hardest.

The president is now fighting trade offensives on multiple fronts, from targeting strategic rival China to angering allies like Canada and the European Union with threats to erect fresh barriers.

Brussels has reminded Trump that tit-for-tat trade measures deepened the Great Depression in the 1930s and in the 2000s cost thousands of United States jobs when Washington imposed tariffs on European steel.

A widely read tabloid said in an editorial China would not be bullied by threats of a trade war with the world's largest economy and its main trading partner.

The government of China sees the United States as its greatest obstacle to achieve its expansionist aim of annexing Taiwan, believing that if America's global influence can be sufficiently diminished, Taiwan will have no choice other than to bow to the control of the Communist Party in Beijing.



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