Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Chinese customs clears some US goods as new tariffs take effect

Chinese customs clears some US goods as new tariffs take effect

"After the U.S. activated its tariff measures against China, China's measures against the USA took effect immediately", said Lu Kang, a foreign ministry spokesman.

The administration accuses China of using predatory practices in a push to overtake USA technological dominance.

Beijing insists it's the injured party.

China lodged a case with the World Trade Organization against the United States, its commerce ministry said on Friday. The drop might reflect a deliberate devaluation by Beijing to signal its "displeasure over the state of trade negotiations", according to a report from the Institute of International Finance, a banking trade group.

But others are much broader and more likely to hit a wide range of consumers, such as USA tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum.

The currency market's focus may turn to the US Federal Reserve this week, as any downside risk from tariffs had already been discussed during the June 13 Federal Open Market Committee meeting, according to minutes released last week. The transnational company has many branches and plants across China.

China's commerce ministry called the U.S. actions "a violation of world trade rules" and said it had "initiated the largest-scale trade war in economic history".

Hours before Washington's deadline for the tariffs to take effect, US President Donald Trump upped the ante, warning that the United States may ultimately target over $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the total amount of US imports from China past year.

"There should be no doubting Beijing's resolve", the newspaper said.

The president upped the stakes on Thursday, saying the amount of goods subject to tariffs could rise to more than $500bn.

He described the potential escalation to reporters aboard Air Force One: "Thirty-four, and then you have another 16 in two weeks and then, as you know, we have 200 billion in abeyance and then after the 200 billion we have 300 billion in abeyance. OK?" "So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300", he said.

Trump vowed to impose levies on more than 1,000 Chinese products back in June. These include soybeans and automobiles.

"We are closely monitoring the situation".

President Donald Trump is fighting trade battles in all directions, not just with China. Ltd, another company in the province, is affected by the US list of Chinese products for additional tariffs.

The clash with China comes as the Trump administration is also fighting over trade with American allies such as Canada and the European Union.

Trump's attempt to use the steel and aluminum tariffs to pry concessions from the Mexicans and Canadians proved futile. There did not appear to be any direct instructions to hold up cargoes, but some customs departments were waiting for received official guidance on imposing added tariffs, the sources said.

China's government also announced it was adding this round of USA tariffs to an existing complaint filed with the WTO in April shortly after Washington unveiled the threat to punish Beijing for its policies on intellectual property.

But, the longer the trade war goes on, the more severe the impact could become, the spokesperson said. "We urge the two governments to come back to the negotiation table".

A spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce said: "This kind of taxation is typical trade bullying, which is seriously jeopardising the global industrial chain and value chain security, hindering the pace of global economic recovery, triggering global market turmoil, and will affect more innocent multinational corporations, general enterprises and ordinary countries".

Analysts say China is unlikely to budge on those plans, which it sees as crucial for developing its huge economy. "And so I'd expect the two sides to pursue some sort of face-saving deal that looks good on paper but is not enduring".

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