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21 June 2018, 06:10 | Vera Richards
A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo Monday
Chinasaid Tuesday it would respond with "comprehensive measures" that could target American companies, sending global markets into a nose dive. The administration also revived its complaints Tuesday about America's gaping trade deficit with China, which it says reflects an unfair trading relationship.
On Friday, after the Trump administration's first tariff action, Beijing responded with reciprocal tariffs on $50 billion in US goods, including cars, soybeans, dairy, oil, propane and other high-value trade categories. US and Iowa agriculture is caught in the crossfire, with farmers selling $14 billion in soybeans to China previous year, its top export market.
While Trump is said to have rejected China's offer early this month to increase purchases of US goods by $70 billion, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Shuang Geng said on Wednesday the two sides had made progress in their three rounds of talks.
Mr Trump said after the legal process is complete, these tariffs worth $200 billion will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices.
Beijing's retaliatory tariffs on products including soy beans, tobacco and seafood could have a significant impact on states such as Iowa, Wisconsin, Alaska and Minnesota, where there are high numbers of Trump supporters. "The nation's global trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $46.2 billion in April from $47.2 billion in March (revised), as exports increased and imports decreased", the U.S. Census Bureau reported recently. While the dollar amounts are rising rapidly, the countries still have time to negotiate, as the previously announced tariffs won't take effect until July 6.
Steel stocks turned in some of the market's worst performances on the day, as traders anxious about the potential impact of a trade war between the USA and China.
Early in the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index shed 362 points to 24,626, led lower by Boeing, Caterpillar and DowDuPont.
China's Commerce Ministry assailed Trump's latest threat, saying it was an "act of extreme pressure and blackmail that deviates from the consensus reached by both parties".
President DonaldTrump's protectionist trade policies have led China and the European Union to hit back at new USA tariffs meant to discourage foreign purchases of steel and aluminum. Trump claimed that unilateralism in trade is good for the US.
European companies have been bystanders to the U.S.
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He suggested that China could take actions, beyond tariffs, to make life hard for Apple and other USA companies. But with these exemptions expiring at the beginning of the month, nations have been hitting back at the U.S. China responded by saying it would hit 659 U.S. products worth $50 billion.
Trade wars are good and easy to win - even if the victory is won at a great cost. A punitive duty the Trump administration applied to lumber imports from Canada has raised the price of a new home by $9,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
And a fifth say they have been victims of forced technology transfers, a practice denounced fiercely by Washington as it carries out a probe on the issue while threatening tariffs in retaliation.
USA companies have an increasingly sizable stake in the fast-growing Chinese market.
"Therefore, today, I directed the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent". The White House is finalizing a list of $16 billion in additional goods it will sanction later. That being said, "China is going to retaliate", he added. Soybeans are on the list - a direct shot at a swath of Trump supporters in the American heartland. The country could lose more than $651 million as a result of the US tariff policy.
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That deadline has been extended several times as Canada and Mexico struggle to accommodate far-reaching USA demands for change, such as a sunset clause that would allow one nation to pull out after five years. Companies that make cars, steel and aluminum and chemicals also took heavy losses. -China trade dispute jolted the markets and triggered a rush to safer assets.
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