clear
Friday November 16th, 2018 11:05AM

China vows retaliation for $200 billion US tariff threat

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BEIJING (AP) — China's government vowed Wednesday to take "firm and forceful measures" as the U.S. threatened to expand tariffs to thousands of Chinese imports like fish sticks, apples and French doors, the latest salvo in an escalating trade dispute that threatens to chill global economic growth.

China gave no details, but it has plenty of options to retaliate that could extend beyond additional tariffs on U.S. imports. There are fears that Beijing could attempt to disrupt operations of American automakers, retailers and others that see China as a key market.

The spiraling conflict stems from Washington's complaint that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology and concerns that plans for state-led development of Chinese champions in robots and other fields might erode American industrial leadership.

A possible second round of tariff hikes announced Tuesday by the U.S. Trade Representative targets a $200 billion list of Chinese goods. That came four days after Washington added 25 percent duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing responded by increasing taxes on the same amount of American imports.

The abrupt escalation is "totally unacceptable," said a Commerce Ministry statement. It said Beijing would take unspecified "necessary countermeasures" to protect its "core interests."

Asked what Beijing would do, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying gave no details but said, "We will take firm and forceful measures."

The USTR, the federal agency that oversees international trade policy and negotiations, said it was responding to Beijing's decision to retaliate instead of changing its policies. President Donald Trump has threatened higher tariffs on more than $500 billion of goods, or nearly all of China's annual exports to the United States.

The USTR will accept public comments on the latest round of tariffs and hold hearings Aug. 20-23 before reaching a decision after Aug. 31, according to a senior U.S. official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

The first U.S. tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products, an attempt to reduce the direct impact on American consumers.

The new list includes vacuum cleaners, furniture, auto and bicycle parts, French doors and plywood. It left untouched U.S.-branded smartphones and laptop computers.

That "will hit the Chinese export sector hard," said Rajiv Biswas of IHS Markit in a report.

China imports far less from the U.S. than the U.S. imports from China. That means China's imports of U.S. goods are so small that Beijing "cannot match fresh U.S. tariffs," said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report.

China bought $130 billion of U.S. goods last year. Both governments have raised tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other's goods and already said they are considering additional charges on another $16 billion. That would leave China only $80 billion for further retaliation.

Instead, Beijing has other ways to disrupt American companies' operations. Regulators can deny or cancel licenses or launch lengthy tax, environmental or anti-monopoly investigations.

Companies are watching U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc., which has waited months for Chinese regulators to decide whether to allow its proposed $44 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. All other major governments have approved the deal.

The economic impact of the conflict already is spreading.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said this week its member companies are rearranging the global flow of their goods to make sure any bound for the United States don't pass through China.

Members of Congress are increasingly questioning Trump's tactics. They warned tariffs on imports raise consumer prices and expose U.S. farmers and manufacturers to retaliation.

"Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach," said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch in a statement.

Envoys from the two sides last met June 3 when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross visited Beijing for talks with Vice Premier Liu He. They have given no indication when they might meet again.

Chinese leaders have tried without success to recruit support from Europe and other governments. They criticize Trump's tactics but share U.S. complaints about Beijing's industrial policies.

Investors had been taking the trade war in stride but Tuesday's announcement appeared to dent that optimism.

On Wednesday, China's main stock index lost 1.8 percent and Japan's market benchmark fell 1.1 percent. Hong Kong's main index shed 1.3 percent.

The conflict is "far from over," warned Hannah Anderson of JP Morgan Asset Management in a report, "and the impact will be global."

___

AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman contributed from Washington.

___

Chinese Ministry of Commerce (in Chinese): www.mofcom.gov.cn

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP World News - International incidents, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Trump arrives at NATO headquarters for talks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is defending her country's independence following comments from President Donald Trump suggesting that Berlin was operating under Russian influence
7:04AM ( 9 minutes ago )
UK police say they've spoken to surviving nerve-agent victim
British police say they have spoken briefly to the surviving victim of a nerve-agent poisoning in southwest England as they try to uncover how he and his girlfriend were exposed to the deadly toxin
6:54AM ( 19 minutes ago )
AP Interview: US rescuer details high-risk Thai cave mission
A leader of a U.S. contingent that was part of the operation to rescue 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach who were trapped inside a cave says the boys endured dives in zero visibility lasting up to a half-hour, calling it a "once in a lifetime rescue."
6:51AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump claims Germany 'controlled' by Russia
President Donald Trump is claiming a pipeline project has made Germany "totally controlled" by and "captive to Russia" during a combative breakfast that kicked off what was already expected to be a fraught NATO summit
6:16AM ( 56 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump to meet with Merkel, Macron at NATO summit
President Donald Trump is set to meet Wednesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, hours after he publicly claimed that the longtime U.S. ally is "totally controlled" by and "captive to Russia."
6:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hospital: Kids lost weight, drank dripping water in cave
A health official says the soccer teammates rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand lost weight during their 18-day ordeal and in the days before their discovery survived by drinking water dripping into their refuge
6:05AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Government falls short of deadline to reunite kids, parents
Some immigrant toddlers are back in the arms of their parents, but others remain in detention facilities
2:10AM ( 5 hours ago )
China vows retaliation for latest US tariff threat
China slams latest US threat of tariff hikes as 'totally unacceptable,' vows to retaliate
2:08AM ( 5 hours ago )
Kavanaugh's views of presidential power drawing questions
Kavanaugh's views on whether a president can be drawn into criminal or civil cases could be a hot point in his confirmation hearing
1:59AM ( 5 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Elliott Management owns AC Milan after Li misses deadline
Elliott Management has promised to inject 50 million euros ($66 million) in capital after taking over Italian club AC Milan
6:17AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Malaysia says mastermind behind 1MDB looting fled Macau
Malaysian police say fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, wanted over the looting of state investment fund 1MDB, has fled Macau to an unknown destination
6:05AM ( 1 hour ago )
World markets tumble as US, China clash on more tariffs
World markets tumble as US, China clash on tariffs on $200 billion more Chinese exports
5:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
US stocks climb again as Pepsi leads household goods rally
US stocks rose for the fourth day in a row as Pepsi led household goods makers higher. Technology companies also climbed.
4:41PM ( 14 hours ago )
US stocks near another gain; Pepsi rallies on solid results
US stocks are closing in on their fourth gain in a row as PepsiCo gives household goods companies a boost and technology companies rise as well
3:49PM ( 15 hours ago )
Cuba lifting freeze on new private tourism businesses
A 16-month freeze on new private restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts will end in December when Cuba's communist government implements new regulations meant to prevent tax evasion and the accumulation of wealth
2:44PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
The Latest: Trump arrives at NATO headquarters for talks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is defending her country's independence following comments from President Donald Trump suggesting that Berlin was operating under Russian influence
7:04AM ( 9 minutes ago )
UK police say they've spoken to surviving nerve-agent victim
British police say they have spoken briefly to the surviving victim of a nerve-agent poisoning in southwest England as they try to uncover how he and his girlfriend were exposed to the deadly toxin
6:54AM ( 19 minutes ago )
AP Interview: US rescuer details high-risk Thai cave mission
A leader of a U.S. contingent that was part of the operation to rescue 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach who were trapped inside a cave says the boys endured dives in zero visibility lasting up to a half-hour, calling it a "once in a lifetime rescue."
6:51AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Trump claims Germany 'totally controlled' by Russia
President Donald Trump is claiming a pipeline project has made Germany "totally controlled" by and "captive to Russia" during a combative breakfast that kicked off what was already expected to be a fraught NATO summit
6:47AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Prince Harry, Meghan to reflect on Irish history on tour
Prince Harry and his wife, the former actress Meghan Markle, have met with the Irish president on their first official overseas trip as a married couple
6:40AM ( 33 minutes ago )