Washington, April 6: US President Dold Trump has said he is considering slapping an additiol $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, moving the world’s two largest economies closer to an open trade brawl.
Trump on late Thursday said that he was responding to “unfair retaliation” by Chi, which published a list on Wednesday of $50 billion in American products that would be hit by tariffs, including soybeans and pork. That move was a direct reaction to the tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods that the White House detailed on Tuesday, the US media reported. Chi’s Ministry of Commerce responded, saying Beijing would “not hesitate to pay any price” to defend its interests. “We don’t want a trade war, but we are not afraid of such a war,” it said.
The US President in his announcement said: “In light of Chi’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the US Trade Representative (USTR) to consider whether $100 billion of additiol tariffs would be appropriate. “Rather than remedy its misconduct, Chi has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers,” Trump’s statement said. The President added that he instructed to the USTR also to “identify the products upon which to impose” the additiol tariffs. Amid the ongoing row, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said: “Chi and the US as two world powers should treat each other on a basis of equality and with respect. By waving a big stick of trade sanctions against Chi, the US has picked a wrong target.”
The announcement came one day after some of Trump’s advisers tried to calm markets and tamp down fears of a trade war between the two countries, saying that the tariff threats were the first step in a negotiation process, the New York Times reported. Trump said the potential for new tariffs would not preclude discussions with the Chinese “to protect the technology and intellectual property of American companies and American people”.
The stock market was closed when the White House released Trump’s statement about the additiol tariffs, but Wall Street futured pointed lower for Friday trading. Markets in mainland Chi were closed for a holiday. Asia-Pacific markets largely shrugged off the news. European exchanges were down slightly. The row started with the US President imposing tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminium in March, which also prompted a response from Chi. Trump’s latest threat was met with criticism from members of his own Republican party. Nebraska Setor Ben Sasse called the move “the dumbest possible way to do this”. Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to give a major speech on Tuesday at the Bo’ao Forum on the Chinese island of Hain, which may give more clues to Chi’s response. (IANS)