16 December 2018

China slams U.S. 'blackmailing' as Trump issues new trade threat: Page 2 of 2

TIT-FOR-TAT

On Friday, Trump said he was pushing ahead with a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.

Some of those tariffs will be applied from July 6, while the White House is expected to announce restrictions on investments by Chinese companies in the United States by June 30.

“China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology. Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong,” Trump said.

Trump said if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest U.S. move, “we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods.”

Trump said he has “an excellent relationship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping and they “will continue working together on many issues.”

But, he said, “the United States will no longer be taken advantage of on trade by China and other countries in the world.”

COOLING CHINESE ECONOMY

The intensifying trade row threatens to put more pressure on the already cooling Chinese economy, risking an end to a rare spell of synchronized global expansion and collateral damage for its export-reliant Asian neighbors.

China’s central bank unexpectedly injected 200 billion yuan ($31 billion) in medium-term funds into the banking system on Tuesday in a move analysts said reflected concerns about liquidity but also the potential economic drag from a full-blown trade war.

China imported $129.89 billion of U.S. goods last year, while the U.S. purchased $505.47 billion of Chinese products, according to U.S. data.

Derek Scissors, a China scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank, said that means China will soon run out of imports of U.S. goods on which to impose retaliatory tariffs.

China was unlikely change its industrial policies in response to the U.S. trade threats, he said. That could take a long and painful trade fight.

“As I’ve said from the beginning, China will back off its industrial plans only when U.S. trade measures are large and lasting enough to threaten the influx of foreign exchange. Not due to announcements,” he said.[mr/reuters]

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