Lobsters latest target as US, China trade war escalates

Jun 17, 2018, 02:13
Lobsters latest target as US, China trade war escalates

U.S. President Donald Trump has made a decision to impose tariffs on about US$50 billion in Chinese imports, according to two people familiar with the matter, in a move likely to escalate trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies. Earlier, in mid-May, the U.S. and China had announced a cease-fire after two rounds of trade negotiations.

"While the USA semiconductor industry shares the Trump administration's concerns about China's forced technology transfer and intellectual property practices, the proposed imposition of tariffs on semiconductors from China, most of which are actually researched, designed, and manufactured in the U.S., is counterproductive", the group said in a statement.

The announcement caps months of sometimes fraught shuttle diplomacy between Washington and Beijing, in which Chinese offers to purchase more US goods failed to assuage Trump's grievances over the soaring US-China trade imbalance and Beijing's industrial development policies.

China and the United States are major seafood trading partners beyond just lobster, and the new tariffs would apply to dozens of products that China imports from the U.S., including salmon, tuna and crab.

The U.S. Trade Representative on Friday released a list of almost 900 Chinese imports that will face a 25 percent tariff starting July 6.

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The dispute revived after the White House renewed its plan for a tariff hike on $50 billion of Chinese goods as part of the technology dispute.

"The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices".

The tariffs will also be applied to autos and aquatic products, the ministry said.

The $34 billion targeted by China is in retaliation to almost $50 billion Trump targeted for product's entering the United States on an annual basis. It has previously said American products targeted for tariffs would include U.S. aircraft and soybeans.

"We must take strong defensive actions to protect America's leadership in technology and innovation against the unprecedented threat posed by China's theft of our intellectual property, the forced transfer of American technology, and its cyber attacks on our computer networks", Lighthizer said.

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"Given the frequent flip-flopping of the Donald Trump administration, it is still too early to conclude that a trade war will start", the editorial said, adding that China's stance had been consistent. "In addition, they will serve as an initial step toward bringing balance to the trade relationship between the United States and China". We lost $500 billion in trade deficits previous year.

Washington and Beijing appeared increasingly headed toward a trade war after several rounds of negotiations failed to resolve USA complaints over Chinese industrial policy, market access and a $375 billion trade gap. "We can't do that", Trump said later Friday morning on "Fox and Friends" broadcasting from the White House North Lawn.

So far, companies with business in China have mostly kept low profiles, hoping the U.S. and China would strike a deal, according to Samm Sacks, a senior fellow in the Technology Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the measures could also lead to higher prices and job losses in some industries.

"I am concerned that these new tariffs will hurt American manufacturers, farmers, workers and consumers", he said.

The productivity and robust sales of American agricultural products leave them in the cross hairs of anyone trying to gain leverage against the U.S.

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"President Trump is fixated with tariffs, which he believes he can wield freely; but there are grave consequences", said AAFA president Rick Helfenbein.

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