US 'firing at itself' with trade measures: China

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen says China has not stepped up regulations in retaliation against American tariffs

"We agree with nearly all the complaints the USA has against China, it's just we don't agree with how the United States is handling it", another diplomat said.

Washington imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of imports from China, the first in a series of possible increases that President Donald Trump says could affect up to $550 billion of Chinese goods, more than the total amount China exported to the US previous year.

USA officials see a threat in Beijing's long-range development plan, called Made in China 2025.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office said the agency had no immediate comment on the activation of its initial round of tariffs beyond a statement issued on June 15. In particular the US Smoot-Hawley tariffs enacted in 1930 are thought to have inspired a trade war, and led to a massive decline in global trade. The tariffs are created to hurt parts of the U.S. that are politically aligned with Trump. But the United States has its own ultra-high tariffs - 168 percent on peanuts and 350 percent on tobacco.

Mr Trump has railed against Beijing for intellectual property theft and barriers to entry for USA businesses and a $375 billion U.S. trade deficit with China. Trump has threatened to hit back with vehicle tariffs of 20%, which would be highly damaging for the German auto industry. He noted that the new Russian tariffs will only allow a partial compensation of $87.6 million.

One negative outcome for Europe, Herrero said, would be if Trump can push the Chinese into a trade agreement aimed at reducing the US trade deficit. Initially, the Trump administration imparted a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods.

However, China stopped short of actually saying it had implemented tariffs, stirring market confusion. No exact date was given.

Tariffs are border taxes charged on foreign imports. The tariffs on the European Union went into force on June 1.

Most key USA trading partners do not have significantly higher average tariffs.

USA tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday, with Beijing saying it had no choice but to respond in kind, as the two trading giants escalated a bitter row. The head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Mr Trump's fixation on a United States trade deficit in goods ignores a services surplus.

The global commercial order is being shaken by the Trump administration's use of an obscure United States trade-law provision on national security to justify steel and aluminium tariffs against a host of countries including defence allies. He did not specify which measures.

"There are no winners in a trade war", the chamber's chairman, William Zarit, said in a statement.

The trade spat with China is part of the president's broader plan to renegotiate American trade deals with other countries.

The major theme for the United States and global financial markets during the second quarter of 2018 was trade wars and the potential impact such wars could have on various economies around the world.

President Trump announced the tariffs in June and since then the USA and China have been locked in a series of threats and negotiations that have rattled markets. "To put it simply, the U.S.is opening fire on the entire world, including itself", Gao said.

President Donald Trump on Monday warned the WTO that if the USA isn't treated "properly, we will be doing something".

The Trump administration wants China to drop what it calls its predatory drive to supplant American technological dominance, through tactics that include forcing USA companies to reveal trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market and committing cyber-theft. While many other countries in the world remain committed to the deal, the U.S. leaving and putting oil sanctions back in place presented oil traders with an interesting problem.

He said: "It is an infernal logic, a unsafe logic, a logic that is in nobody's interest, starting with the U.S".

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