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China signals it could ease treasury buying to counter Trump

China signals it could ease treasury buying to counter Trump

China showed readiness to retaliate by declaring plans to levy additional duties on up to $3 billion USA of American imports including fruit and wine in response to USA import tariffs on steel and aluminum, which were due to go into effect on Friday. A second list of goods, including wine, apples, ethanol and stainless steel pipe, would be charged 15 percent, mirroring Mr. Trump's tariff hike on aluminum. A probe was launched previous year under Section 301 of the 1974 U.S. Trade Act. Japan's Nikkei share index fell 4.5 per cent and in the USA the Dow Jones sank 2.9 per cent.

"China doesn't hope to be in a trade war, but is not afraid of engaging in one", the Chinese commerce ministry responded in a statement.

President Trump signs a presidential memorandum imposing tariffs and investment restrictions on China.

Avoid fake news! Subscribe to the Standard SMS service and receive factual, verified breaking news as it happens. "We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on" with China affecting hundreds of billions of dollars in trade each year, he said.

Beijing has released a list of import duties of up to 25 percent to be imposed on items including fresh fruits, wine and pork. But "it's inevitable that Chinese companies develop and sell products similar to those of American companies through contract electronics manufacturers", a senior official at a Japanese manufacturer said.

The spiralling trade dispute between the world's two largest economies has spurred concerns among companies and investors that global commerce could be depressed.

If China and the USA can't reach an agreement on steel and aluminum trade, after a public consultation period which ends March 31, Beijing could begin collecting tariffs of 15 percent on imports worth $977 million, including fresh fruit, nuts, wines, denatured alcohol, ginseng, and seamless steel tubes.

The measures are to "balance out the loss sustained by China" through Washington's move to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on imports, the ministry continued.

In the second stage, the 25-per cent import tax will be imposed after evaluating the impact caused by the USA policies, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the ministry as saying.

Noting that consultations are the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process, the USTR said if the U.S. and China are not able to reach a mutually agreed solution through consultations, the Trump Administration may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel to review the matter.




However, his actions provoked a belligerent response from China's embassy in Washington, which vowed Beijing would "fight to the end" in any trade war with the United States.

"Chinese retaliation against US wine would put our producers at a significant disadvantage in one of the most important markets in the world at a critical time", said Bobby Koch, CEO of the Wine Institute. He explained products subject to tariffs will include aeronautics, high-tech products, new-energy vehicles, and modern rail components.

In the past, the Chinese government has succeeded in blunting American complaints about its trade policies - and over the giant trade imbalance between the two countries - by enlisting the support of big business in the United States to head off calls for punitive measures while making relatively small concessions and dangling the prospect of further action.

"The United States is taking action at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to address China's unfair technology practices that run counter to WTO rules", the statement from the US Trade Representative's office said.

The senior U.S. official said Washington was "very optimistic" that allies such as Europe, Japan and Australia would join its WTO case.

Trump has taken a simplistic view of the trade relationship, the 72-year-old Kennedy told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

But the European Union said it would "reserve its rights" to impose countermeasures as long as the exemption remained temporary. Meanwhile, business groups representing companies ranging from Walmart Inc.to Amazon.com Inc. are warning US tariffs could raise prices for consumers and sideswipe stock prices.

American industry, agriculture in particular, as well as members of the president's own Republican party have voiced strident opposition to his recent trade moves.

The ministry said Beijing would impose tariffs on American-made products in two stages unless a trade compensation agreement could be reached with the U.S.

Influential Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he was "very pleased" with the moves, but other Republicans called on Trump to be judicious in designing the tariffs, warning of consequences for American consumers.


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