Trump promises to stay the course on tariffs

Charlene Craig
August 6, 2018

Beijing then threatened to impose an additional $60 billion in tariffs on a variety of American goods - which White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow dismissed as "a weak response".

Kudlow also told reporters on Friday that the administration held a call with China within the past few days involving high-level officials. It echoes China's response to the previous round of tariffs last month, when the USA and China imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of each others' goods.

But China exports far more to the United States than the other way round, making it more challenging for the country to hit back against U.S. tariffs.

April 9: China filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Trump's metal tariffs.

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"China's countermeasures are rational", the Global Times, a tabloid run by the official People's Daily, said in a commentary. Farmer groups have decried the trade tensions as soybean futures slumped. Mr Trump suggested that his use of tariffs has directly damaged the Chinese economy, something that he said would continue unless they agreed to his demands, which includes allowing more U.S. exports and investments.

"For decades, our politicians allowed other countries to steal our jobs, plunder our wealth, and loot our economy", Trump said.

The conflict with China is taking on a "cyclical" pattern with roughly two weeks of escalation followed by two weeks of relative calm, said Mark Rosenberg, chief executive at Geoquant Inc., a firm that uses computer models to gauge political risk.

Concerns about the trade war have already affected China's currency, which has fallen nearly 9% against the dollar since April.

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Trump apparently believes he can control the response of USA trading partners to his threats and intimidations, and that he can conclude token trade deals, if necessary, to avoid falling over the trade cliff of currency devaluations. That's something that was going to happen anyway, with or without any agreement with Trump - and with or without his tariffs and tariff threats. "Other countries use Tariffs against, but when we use them, foolish people scream!" It will be September at the earliest before the US decides whether to impose those tariffs. The U.S. can buy more because the economy is strong.

China is willing to resolve differences with the United States on an equal footing, the Chinese government's top diplomat said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but added they did not address their trade war too specifically.

The US and China: poles apart? And while negotiations continue with NAFTA and Europe, no further discussions are underway with China and will likely not occur soon. Hours before the rally, Mr Trump posted a string of tweets on the issue, saying the United States market is "stronger than ever", while the Chinese market "has dropped 27 per cent in last four months, and they are talking to us".

Gao added that China's tariff move remains very restrained, which signals that the nation has always opened its door to negotiations with the U.S. under the framework of the World Trade Organization, while reserving the right to deploy countermeasures.

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These represent not only the source of industries of the future, but threaten a quantum leap in China military capabilities. "Those are the things that concern us the most". But what the United States really means is nextgen military-capable software intellectual property.

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