clearn.png
Tuesday June 25th, 2019 1:43AM

US, China wield threats going into high-stakes trade talks

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. and Chinese negotiators are to resume trade talks Thursday just hours before the United States is set to raise tariffs on Chinese imports in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the world's two biggest economies.

In Beijing, Chinese officials said they will retaliate if President Donald Trump goes ahead with more tariff hikes, adding to the heated rhetoric from both sides that was shaking stock markets around the world.

The talks starting up again in Washington were thrown into disarray this week after top U.S. trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused the Chinese of reneging on commitments they'd made earlier. In response to the alleged backsliding, the United States is raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10% to 25% at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time Friday.

The two countries are sparring over U.S. allegations that China steals technology and pressures American companies into handing over trade secrets, part of an aggressive campaign to turn Chinese companies into world leaders in robotics, electric cars and other advanced industries.

The setback was unexpected. Through late last week, Trump administration officials were suggesting that negotiators were making steady progress.

U.S. officials say they got an inkling of China's second thoughts about prior commitments in talks last week in Beijing, but that the backsliding became even more apparent in exchanges over the weekend. They wouldn't identify the specific issues involved.

On Sunday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to express frustration with the pace of the talks. "The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!" Trump tweeted, threatening to raise the tariffs. He also said he'd go further and slap 25% tariffs on another $325 billion in Chinese imports, covering everything China sells the United States.

U.S. officials are insisting that any deal be strictly enforced so that China lives up to its promises — something they say Beijing has repeatedly failed to do in the past. Also unclear is what would happen to the U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. China wants them lifted; the U.S. wants to keep tariffs as leverage to pressure the Chinese to comply with any agreement.

Hours before the talks were set to resume in Washington, the Chinese government said it would retaliate if the U.S. tariff increases take effect. It did not provide details, but said it had made "all necessary preparations," suggesting it might be bracing for worsening conflict.

"If the U.S. tariff measures are carried out, China will have to take necessary countermeasures," said a Commerce Ministry statement. The spokesman, Gao Feng, said China has the "determination and ability to defend its own interests."

The volley of threats reignited jitters about global economic growth, prompting another round of losses on world stock markets.

If tariff hikes go ahead, "risks of a financial market collapse, extreme risk aversion, and sharp slowdown in global growth will spike," said Philip Wee of DBS Group in a report.

Germany's DAX index shed 1.2% and France's CAC 40 lost 1.5%. Hong Kong's main benchmark skidded 2.4% and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.5%. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.9%. Wall Street was set to open lower.

Chinese authorities already have extended retaliation beyond imports by targeting operations of American companies in China. Regulators have slowed down customs clearance for their shipments and delayed issuing licenses in finance and other industries.

The Chinese government has an array of other weapons including launching tax, anti-monopoly or other investigations that can hamper company operations.

Chinese leaders see industry development directed by the Communist Party as a path to prosperity and global influence. They deny their plans violate Beijing's trade commitments but have offered to change details that provoke the most foreign opposition.

"China is not afraid of conflict," said the Global Times, a newspaper published by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily that is known for its nationalist tone. It said Beijing has measures in place to "minimize losses" for its companies.

"Mentally and materially, China is much better prepared than its U.S. counterpart," the newspaper said.

Despite such bluster, factories in Chinese coastal regions that serve the U.S. market have been devastated. Industries including electronics that the Communist Party is promoting as China's economic future have suffered declines of up to 40% in sales to the United States.

That has increased pressure on President Xi Jinping, who political analysts say faces criticism within the ruling party that he has failed to manage Trump.

Chinese exports to the United States plunged 13% from a year ago in April and are off 9.7% since the start of 2019. Total Chinese exports sank 2.7% in April, far weaker than forecasts for growth in low single digits. Imports of American goods, meanwhile, tumbled 26%.

___

McDonald reported from Beijing.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US, China wield threats going into high-stakes trade talks
The United States and China are scheduled to resume talks to try to back off an escalating trade war
7:33AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Pompeo skips visit to Greenland amid new tensions with Iran
Pompeo cancels a visit to Greenland to return to Washington amid an escalation of tensions with Iran
7:10AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Matters of politics, race accompany Red Sox to White House
Red Sox manager, nearly a dozen players skipping White House visit to commemorate Boston's World Series victory
7:08AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
N. Korea fires 2 suspected missiles in possible new warning
South Korea's military says North Korea has fired two suspected short-range missiles, the second such launch in the last five days and a possible warning that nuclear disarmament talks could be in danger
6:46AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Beto O'Rourke hires Obama delegate guru Jeff Berman
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has hired one of the masterminds behind Barack Obama's unlikely 2008 primary victory
6:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
Vatican law: Priests, nuns must report sex abuse, cover-up
Pope Francis has issued a new law requiring all Catholic priests and nuns around the world to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by their superiors to church authorities
6:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
2 shooting suspects appear in court
One of the three students who disarmed a gunman in a Colorado school shooting says they slammed the teenager against the wall and struggled with him
4:10AM ( 3 hours ago )
Trump promises more hurricane relief for Florida Panhandle
President Donald Trump is promising a swift infusion of federal aid to the Florida Panhandle
3:48AM ( 3 hours ago )
Students struggled with shooter, stopped further bloodshed
One of the three students who disarmed a gunman in a Colorado school shooting says they slammed the teenager against the wall and struggled with him
3:36AM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Singapore outlaws fake news, allows govt to block, remove it
Singapore passed a law criminalizing publication of fake news and allowing the government to block and order the removal of such content
3:49AM ( 3 hours ago )
Singapore reportedly criminalizes publication of fake news
Singapore passed a law criminalizing publication of fake news and allowing the government to block and order the removal of such content, report says
1:57AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP source: Senate subpoenas Trump Jr. over earlier testimony
AP source: Senate intelligence committee subpoenas Donald Trump Jr. to answer questions about his 2017 testimony
12:26AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Seoul says N. Korea fires 2 suspected missiles
Seoul says North Korea firea 2 suspected short-range missiles
6:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
EU urges Iran to respect nuclear deal, regrets US sanctions
EU urges Iran to respect nuclear deal, says it aims to continue trading with Islamic Republic despite US sanctions
4:43AM ( 3 hours ago )
Australia takes responsibility for typos on 46M bank notes
Australia's central bank has taken responsibility for typos on 46 million bank notes after a radio station posted an image of the microscopic error.
4:11AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
SoftBank profits rise, partly on gains from Saudi-tied fund
SoftBank reported a 36% increase in profit for the fiscal year, partly on gains from its Saudi-tied Vision Fund
5:09AM ( 2 hours ago )
Asian shares mostly lower amid jitters ahead of trade talks
Asian shares are mostly lower amid investor jitters ahead of the latest round of trade talks between US and China
3:29AM ( 4 hours ago )
SoftBank profits rise, party on gains from Saudi-tied fund
SoftBank reported a 36% increase in profit for the fiscal year, partly on gains from its Saudi-tied Vision Fund
2:43AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
The Latest: Trump: Don't worry about US-China trade talks
President Donald Trump is telling supporters at his campaign rally in Florida not to worry about the trade talks the U.S. will be holding with China this week
9:02PM ( 10 hours ago )
Trump's Iran policy put to test as end to nuclear deal looms
President Donald Trump's Iran policy is being put to the test as tensions escalate between Washington and Tehran
6:28PM ( 13 hours ago )
South Africa votes with corruption, jobs as big issues
South Africans are voting in presidential and parliamentary elections, with signs of a relatively low turnout amid some saying they are disillusioned by widespread corruption and unemployment
5:24PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Iran threatens more uranium enrichment if no new nuke deal
Iran has threatened to resume higher enrichment of uranium in 60 days if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its 2015 nuclear deal a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord
3:05PM ( 16 hours ago )
US stocks mixed as anxious investors eye trade talks
Stocks edged slightly higher as investors keep a close eye on the latest round of trade negotiations between the U.S and China
12:22PM ( 19 hours ago )
US stocks move sideways as investors eye trade talks
Stocks move sideways as the U.S. and China prepare for a new round of trade negotiations
10:33AM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Pompeo skips visit to Greenland amid new tensions with Iran
Pompeo cancels a visit to Greenland to return to Washington amid an escalation of tensions with Iran
7:10AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Matters of politics, race accompany Red Sox to White House
Red Sox manager, nearly a dozen players skipping White House visit to commemorate Boston's World Series victory
7:08AM ( 36 minutes ago )
2 Russian spies sentenced in Montenegro in coup attempt
A Montenegro court has sentenced 13 people, including two Russian secret service operatives, to up to 15 years in prison after they were convicted of plotting to overthrow the Balkan country's government and prevent it from joining NATO
7:08AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Some House members considering taking a pay raise this year
Some senior House lawmakers, frustrated by more than a decade of frozen congressional salaries, are quietly exploring whether to accept an annual pay raise that they've shunned since Barack Obama was first president
6:58AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Putin on Victory Day: Russian military to be strengthened
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the annual massive military Victory Day parade in Red Square that the country will continue to strengthen its armed forces
6:47AM ( 57 minutes ago )