China places tariffs on 128 U.S. food imports

Saul Bowman
April 3, 2018

After a month of public negotiations between the US and several other countries, Monday marked the first time another country has placed tariffs on USA goods in response to the Trump administration's recent trade sanctions.

China raised import duties on a $3 billion list of USA pork, apples and other products Monday in retaliation for the Trump Administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum.

But Trump also has more measures in the works aimed specifically at China.

The Chinese finance ministry said in a statement that the new tariffs begin yesterday.

The Chinese government said the tariffs would effectively serve as retaliation for restrictions Trump announced last month. The US Trade Representative's office has criticised the Chinese government's policies, saying they demand the "uneconomic" transfer of intellectual property to Chinese firms. Among the stocks sold were two companies with considerable operations in China: construction equipment maker Caterpillar and United Technologies, which builds aircraft engines and machinery.

It's unclear how China would respond to those aggressive measures.

As fears of a trade war between the world's two biggest economies intensified, China slapped extra tariffs of up to 25 per cent on USA frozen pork, wine, fruits and nuts, in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminium and steel.

Economist Taimur Baig with DBS Group said the sanctions are "not very substantial" when considering the $150 billion worth of goods the US still ships to China, including $20 billion in food supplies.

The trade barriers Trump issued to prop up the steel and aluminum industries will end up increasing costs for thousands of downstream businesses-by one count, there are 46 American jobs in steel-consuming industries for every steel-producing job in the country.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the USA sent more than $21 billion worth of agricultural exports to China in 2016.

American manufacturing executives are anxious about President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum - and a potential trade war with China.

Trump, however, has temporarily suspended the tariffs for the European Union as well as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea.

In a statement published yesterday morning, the Chinese commerce ministry said the United States had "seriously violated" the principles of non-discrimination enshrined in World Trade Organization rules, and had also damaged China's interests.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce indicated that the tariffs, which it first publicly suggested nearly two weeks ago, were meant to pressure the Trump administration to back down from a simmering trade war.

China enacted its latest tariffs in accordance with World Trade Organization norms, in a likely attempt to differentiate itself from the US, whose recent measures have been accused of violating WTO rules. But economists have cautioned that tariffs are unlikely to achieve that goal and risk hurting economic growth instead.

The Turkish side has so far booked a space of 600 square meters in the CIIE exhibition areas for textiles, medical equipment, electronics and appliances.

China imposed significant tariffs on more than 100 imported American products on Sunday.

Beijing is also working to reduce its trade imbalance with the USA, mainly through increasing American imports.

"China in my view brazenly has released this China 2025 plan and basically told the rest of the world, 'We're going to dominate every single emerging industry of the future and therefore your economies aren't going to have any future", Navarro told Bloomberg Television.

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