China, U.S. Continue Slamming Each Other With Tariffs

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China, U.S. Continue Slamming Each Other With Tariffs

FILE IMAGE: AFP

On August 23rd, a new exchange of tariffs took place in the US-China Trade war.

The imposition of tariffs happened while talks between the US and China over the dispute are taking place. U.S. and Chinese officials met on August 22nd in Washington for a new round of trade talks, however an easy compromise is not expected, as cited by CNBC.

Donald Trump, cited by CNBC, on August 21st said that he did not “anticipate much” from the talks led by U.S. Treasury Under Secretary David Malpass and Chinese Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen.

The US imposed 25% tariffs on another $16 billion of Chinese goods, affecting 279 products including chemical products, motorcycles, speedometers and antennas.

China retaliated immediately with 25% tariffs on an equal amount of US goods, a list of 333 products, including coal, copper scrap, fuel, steel products, buses and medical equipment.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce released a statement saying that China “has to continue to make necessary counterattacks,” while also stating that it plans to file a complaint to the World Trade Organization.

China and the US have now imposed tariffs on $50 billion of each other’s goods in the dispute. The trade war was initiated by the Trump Administration which is attempting to punish China for alleged unfair trade practices, such as stealing intellectual property. The first round of tariffs went into effect on July 6th.

The US has also threatened to impose 25% tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods, while Beijing has responded with a retaliation of tariffs on a further $60 billion of US goods. It’s harder for China to match this latest threat dollar-for-dollar because the United States exports far less to China.

Donald Trump has gone as far as threaten 25% tariffs on $500 billion of Chinese goods, which is almost the entire Chinese export to the US.

The Guardian cited an editorial in the state-run tabloid Global Times on August 23rd criticized the US for “breaking agreements and creating trade conflict” but placed the US-China trade war in the broader context of US disputes with the EU, Canada, and Mexico. “The US is moving further towards unilateralism,” the paper said.

Apart from trade, another cause of tensions between the US and China is Beijing’s continuing expansion of presence in the South China Sea. The US have attempted to deter the expansion by organizing military exercises in the region as well as patrol missions, however they have all proved ineffective.

The Diplomat, in an article from August 21st argued that Donald Trump has a tendency of linking trade and security which could lead him to the conviction to attempt to press China on the South China Sea, in combination with the trade issues. “Could the Trump administration successfully link trade war with active steps against China’s encroachment upon the South China Sea? Would it try? Trump has thus far sent mixed signals on the South China Sea, and administration policy may depend more on infighting among his advisers than any strong conviction on the part of the president himself,” reported the Diplomat.

According to the outlet, the attempt to achieve concessions in the South China Sea while pressuring trade will most likely not prove effective.

A military exercise that will take part in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean will begin on August 26th and will continue until October. The military games will include India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, Japan and the US.

The exercises are sure to anger China. Beijing has built up several artificial islands with military outposts on them in the South China Sea, which includes vital sea lanes through which over $3 trillion in global trade passes each year. China claims the area within its so-called nine-dash line, which encompasses most of the waterway. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims. China has said the facilities are for defensive purposes, but some experts say this is part of a concerted bid to cement de facto control over the South China Sea.

The military exercise more than likely aims at targeting China’s attempt to tighten its grip on the South China Sea. That is something the US is strongly against, due to it being a vital global trade route.

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  • You can call me Al

    Oh America, you have opened a can of worms, yet again. Looks like you have now put the penultimate nail in your own coffin….

    Like Germany, we shall have war soon and you will lose that as well, you sad baboons.

    • Assad Did Nothing Wrong™

      How dare we try to bring back our industry

      • Jesus

        Nonsense, who outsourced US manufacturing industries to China?
        US relies on China for a lot of consumer goods that will become more expensive by the end of September. US is reliant on Chinese consumer products, so engaging in a trade war where your consumer market is subject to price increases will not be offset by the tax cuts…..so a drug addict declares war on his pusher? It is an oxymoron.

        • Assad Did Nothing Wrong™

          So we stop being reliant on Chinese shit manufacturing. If more money is leaving a country than entering (in the case of the US) it spells doom in the long term. We need the manufacturing back here. People can shit on the USA all they want but I’m American, not Chinese, so fuck the Chinese.

          • Jesus

            Yea, Walmart and other big box stores made you reliant on Chinese consumer products.
            I am American as well, I speak from a realistic perspective. Until manufacturing comes back here, you still are going to buy Chinese goods.
            You know, since Wall Street scumbags outsourced most everything to China, why does not Trump impose 30 trillion dollar assessment on them for damaging the US economy….and imprison most of them?

          • Blaine

            More likely the US/Chinese manufacturing firms will try to sell their goods to other buyers rather than restart manufacturing here (USA). They will never tolerate paying that much for labor ever again. Middle class in the US will have to be eradicated first, by then robots will have replaced most factory labor.

            But I agree with the sentiment, I’d rather have the manufacturing jobs here. There are plenty of examples of mature service economies, we refer to them as “third world” countries.

            I’m sure the average Chinese worker is a nice person, but they don’t pay taxes that fix my crumbling overpasses or educate the kids in my town. Then again the US govt wouldn’t do those things anyway, even if they had more revenue. More tax cuts for the folks that shipped the jobs overseas in the first place, and let the place go to wrack and ruin.

          • Sinbad2

            You can’t bring manufacturing back to the US, unless it’s really basic stuff that an uneducated population can cope with.
            To manufacture in today’s world, you need engineers, and America swapped its engineers for bankers lawyers and advertisers decades ago.

      • Sinbad2

        It was you who got your companies to make their products in China.
        Americans sold their future for a few shiny glass beads.

        • Assad Did Nothing Wrong™

          Nice of you to personally blame me for America’s problems. Also to address your other reply: I studied computer engineering, not law. The problem is the elites are trying to replace people like me with cheap Indian H1Bs.

          • You can call me Al

            Look, I know you will defend your own Country as I do. No-one blames you personally, but you Yankers are blind to what is going on and how your government actually works.

            Now listen Yank, your nation is the most hated in history – if you get to the stage when the Brits are fed up with you, you know you are in trouble.

            The World is sick of wars, but yet we have to go through them yearly, because of you lot; probably to try and over up your upcoming civil war.

            Take out the elites….

      • Bob

        It was US industry that went trans-national pursuing cheap international labor – from late 1980’s onward they shifted their core business model away from owning domestic fixed plant with fixed workforce to relocating to off-shore transitory zones with mass scale sub contracting. There were host of other compounded cost reductions involved, besides labor rates, for these multinationals – ie no more fixed plant site costs, payroll taxes, workforce entitlements etc. The US industrial CEO’s actively moved their manufacturing offshore.

        • Assad Did Nothing Wrong™

          Yeah I know that already. I am opposed to any such CEOs who offshore jobs. Is that really a problem for people on this site?

          • Bob

            Nope. But point is the back story is quite complex – and is an actual term for the late twentieth century huge shift in US industrial organization, ‘post-Fordism’. Meaning the shift away from domestic fixed cost plant sites and long term employees – and all the contributions to the state in various ways from these large domestic commitments. So there are real questions as to whether it is possible to turn the clock back on this historical shift in US industrial business culture and management policy. Certainly China as a one party state can control – ie supress- its labor and currency rates giving it an artificial international advantage in labor market, but these are symptoms not the cause of US industrial offshoring – which is result of profit driven multinationals.

  • Sinbad2

    China should give a discount to all buyers who pay in Yuan, and apply a levy, equal to the levy the US charges more money changing, on all trade in US dollars.

    Hit them where it hurts, their precious dollars.