Trump touts effectiveness of tariffs in string of tweets

Virginia Carson
August 8, 2018

The trade policies of US President Donald Trump has been slammed by China which says the measure of "extortion" won't work.

China's finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, with the extra levies ranging from 5 to 25 per cent.

China's finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, with the extra levies ranging from 5 to 25 percent.

Experts said China has realized that retaliatory action would not persuade the U.S. President to stop his trade actions.

As many as 5,207 U.S. products, including meat, coffee, nuts, alcoholic drinks, minerals, chemicals, leather products, wood products, machinery, furniture and auto parts were listed by China to be targeted for the "safeguard its own legitimate interests".

China to hit USA with tariffs on USA imports worth $16bn
The latest charge comes after the USA said it would implement another round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods. And President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on virtually everything China sells to the United States.

China proposed retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of USA goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft on Friday, as a senior Chinese diplomat cast doubt on prospects of talks with Washington to solve their bitter trade conflict.

The US economy is more insulated from trade concerns, but Chinese leaders have retaliated strategically, targeting products made in Republican districts and final goods, like soybeans, that can be purchased elsewhere.

"China's countermeasures do not intend to purely pursue equivalence in the same amount as the U.S. tariff rates".

The United States and China are in an escalating trade war in which the two sides have already imposed tariffs on roughly $50 billion of each other's goods and which has raised tension between the world's two largest economies.

Beijing and Washington, D.C., imposed matching tariffs last month on $34billion apiece of each other's products and have plans to add $16 billion worth of goods to their lists.

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Chinese officials accused the USA of "unilaterally" heightening tensions between the two economic giants.

"They better not underestimate the president", White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said in an interview on Fox Business Network.

The trade war, increasing corporate bankruptcies, and the huge decline in the value of the yuan against the dollar have prompted worries that China's economy could face a more sluggish pace in growth. USA business and farm groups, which do extensive business with China, have complained for months about Trump's strategy, but there are no signs that the Chinese government is paying for a campaign in the United States.

In Twitter posts on Sunday, Trump said the US' punitive tariffs were "working big time".

Trump portrays the tariffs as a tax on foreigners, but the reality is that tariffs are taxes on US companies and consumers. It is much more rational compared with the 25 percent tariff hikes threatened by the U.S. which is a trade "stick", " said Li Yong, a senior research fellow at the China Association of International Trade. "Obviously, the US tariffs won't help and they are going to cause some damage", he said. "Other countries use Tariffs against, but when we use them, foolish people scream!"

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The Trump administration may be overestimating its ability to pressure Beijing into changing its economic behaviour, said Stefan Selig, managing partner at BridgePark Advisors LLC and former trade undersecretary at the Commerce Department under Barack Obama.

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