Trump hits China with fresh tariffs, threatens more if Beijing retaliates

China warns it has no choice but to retaliate against the latest round of US tariffs but did not specify how. — Reuters pic

Trump orders new tariffs on additional USD 200 Bn worth of Chinese imports

"Ongoing uncertainty about trade policy had led to volatility in the prices of some commodities", the board's minutes said. The Wall Street Journal reports Pyongyang has worked with Russian Federation and China to avoid sanctions, according to a confidential United Nations report, making the latest economic penalties "ineffective". Beijing has warned that it would hit an additional $60 billion in American products if Trump ordered more tariffs.

If the tariffs rise to 25 per cent, however, the Australian economy will be $58 billion worse off over five years.

"Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China - but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive". More broadly, tariffs will lead to higher USA consumer prices, lower overall United States economic growth, and other unintended economic consequences.

'Tariffs have put the a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country - and yet cost increases have thus far been nearly unnoticeable.

Last week, Beijing said it welcomed overtures from U.S. officials offering to re-start trade talks, but press reports indicate China would call off any meetings if the new punitive duties take effect.

At the same time, China introduced its own tariffs to the same value.

Analysts have warned that a full-scale trade war between the two could cause setbacks for global markets.

The move, which sees $200 billion worth of Chinese imports slapped with a ten percent levy, comes amid a deepening trade spat between the world's two largest economies.

What's behind the US-China rift?

Bundles of aluminum ingots sit stacked at a China National Materials Storage and Transportation Corp. stockyard in Wuxi, China.

"To protect its legitimate rights and interests and order in worldwide free trade, China is left with no choice but to retaliate simultaneously", the commerce ministry said in a brief statement, without specifying what action it would take.

At the same time, the official said, the USA remains open to negotiations.

"We have a trade deficit, depending on the way you calculate, of $504 billion, now some people would say it is really $375 billion", Trump said at the time.

A senior Chinese securities market official said US trade actions will not work as China has ample fiscal and monetary policy tools to cope with the impact. "My administration will not remain idle when those interests are under attack".

This latest round of tariffs marks the third set put into motion so far this year. "We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly", he said.

Lou Jiwei, a former Chinese finance minister and now chairman of the National Council for Social Security Fund, said in a speech at the China Development Forum over the weekend that China does not need to panic about the trade war, because the trade will inflict pain on United States enterprises as well. Lam Research Corp, a company that makes gear for manufacturing chips, said in a September 6 letter to trade regulators that duties on raw silicon, ceramic machinery parts and other items "add costs to our U.S. manufacturing operations and reduce our competitiveness in the global semiconductor manufacturing market".

He said consumers benefit from access to the lowest cost goods.

"The direct impact from the trade war is not that significant; the significance is its impact on sentiment and expectations", Liu told the World Economic Forum in the northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin on Tuesday. "As a result, tariffs will ultimately reduce the economic benefit we generate for the United States".

While US inflation has continued to rise steadily albeit modestly, firms across the country report lost businesses, layoffs and possible bankruptcies as input costs rise and exports fall.

Birmingham said the Australian government was "always concerned where people are not necessarily following the traditional rules-based order of global trade".

Technology and retail groups had argued that the tariffs would hit consumers hard. A USTR spokesman did not respond to queries about the tariffs. "Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple".

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