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China, US Trade War Escalates

Sunday 1 September 2019
China, US Trade War Escalates

Alwaght- China-US trade war has entered new territory on Sunday after the  world’s two largest economies began imposing additional tariffs on each other’s goods.

A new round of tariffs took effect from 0401 GMT, with Beijing’s levy of 5% on US crude marking the first time the fuel has been targeted since the rivals started their trade war more than a year ago. American tariffs on foreign goods had already climbed higher than any time since the 1960s before Sunday, when the US imposed a new 15 percent tariff.

The levies on food, clothing, lawn mowers and thousands of other “Made in China” products come as the president prepares to tax nearly everything China ships to America. The move will bring average tariffs on Chinese imports to 21.2 percent, up from only 3.1 percent when Mr. Trump came into office, according to data from the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Chinese state media struck a defiant note.

“The United States should learn how to behave like a responsible global power and stop acting as a ‘school bully’,”

the official Xinhua news agency said.

“As the world’s only superpower, it needs to shoulder its due responsibility, and join other countries in making this world a better and more prosperous place. Only then can America become great again.”

Tariffs could not impede China’s development, said the official People’s Daily of the ruling Communist Party.

“China’s booming economy has made China a fertile ground for investment that foreign companies cannot ignore,” it said, in a commentary under the name ‘Zhong Sheng’, or ‘Voice of China’, which is often used to state its view on foreign policy issues.

Last month, US President Donald Trump said he was increasing existing and planned tariffs by 5% on about $550-billion worth of Chinese imports after Beijing announced its own retaliatory tariffs on US goods.

Tariffs of 15% on cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing are to take effect on Dec. 15.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said on Thursday it would collect public comments through Sept. 20 on a planned tariff increase to 30% on a $250-billion list of goods already hit with a 25% tariff.

Trade teams from China and the United States continue to talk and will meet in September, but tariff hikes on Chinese goods set to go in place on Sunday will not be delayed, Trump has said.

For two years, the Trump administration has sought to pressure China to make sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, forced transfers of technology to Chinese firms, industrial subsidies and market access.

China has consistently denied Washington’s accusations that it engages in unfair trade practices, vowing to fight back in kind and criticizing US measures as protectionist.

China has pressed the United States to cancel the tariff increase, but said last week that a September round of talks was being discussed between the two.

The trade war further strains Beijing-Washington ties, already overshadowed by US freedom of navigation exercises near Chinese-occupied islands in the disputed South China Sea, and US support for self-ruled and democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

 

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