Markets

China Plans Tariffs on $60 Billion of Imports to Counter Trump

China Plans Tariffs on $60 Billion of Imports to Counter Trump

A general view of a crude oil importing port in Qingdao, Shandong province.

One of Trump's stated aims in launching tariffs against Chinese imports was to lower the trade deficit between the United States and China, which is in the region of $375 billion a year.

Washington is expected to soon implement more tariffs on $21 billion in additional Chinese goods, which China has already announced it will match immediately.

Beijing warned on Friday that it was prepared to impose new tariffs on $60 billion worth of us goods if Washington ups the ante in the escalating U.S. Every country on earth wants to take wealth out of the USA, always to our detriment. While that could signal investors pulling money from the country, it could also help Chinese exporters manage the impact of higher USA import tariffs. After earlier action against $34 billion of USA goods, that left about $120 billion for retaliation.

In some ways, the addition of LNG to the list is symbolic.

Among US products targeted were a wide range of agricultural and energy products such as beef and LNG.

The Chinese are unable to match USA tariffs on a dollar-per-dollar basis but Beijing can make it hard for US companies doing business in China. At about $70 a barrel, this was worth just below $4 billion, giving a potential annual trade of around $8 billion.

Trump portrays the tariffs as a tax on foreigners, but the reality is that tariffs are taxes on USA companies and consumers. "What's particularly concerning right now is that China is adjusting to a new normal that locks USA soybean farmers like me out of its market". Over time, USA companies are likely to buy fewer products from China and elsewhere as they look for alternative suppliers. China stepped in Friday to try to cushion the yuan after a record string of weekly losses saw the currency closing in on the key milestone of 7 per dollar.




Unipec, the trading arm of China's largest refiner Sinopec, has suspended crude imports from the United States, Reuters reported on August 3, citing three sources familiar with the situation. Still, the potential for tariffs has China's largest refiner holding back on any purchases from the United States at least through September, according to a person familiar with the situation.

"President Trump inherited an unfair trade regime where American workers and American companies were not treated reciprocally or fairly by the Chinese, and the efforts of the Trump administration are to right that, to correct that", Pompeo told reporters on the sidelines of a regional forum in Singapore.

China has overtaken South Korea to become the world's number two importer of the super-chilled fuel behind Japan. Last year, China imported some £100bn ($130bn) in goods from the United States.

"I think that China will actually feel more pain" than the U.S., Zarit said last month.

Similar to crude oil and LNG, coal was another area where Trump could have made a difference to USA exports to China.

While the U.S. is trying to conclude trade disputes quickly, China is prepared for a "protracted war" and doesn't fear sacrificing short-term economic interests, according to Chinese state media.

However, with the price of Australian thermal coal reaching 6-1/2 year highs, above $120 a tonne, US exports of this type of fuel used in power stations would have been competitive.

'We have really rebuilt China, and it's time that we rebuild our own country now, ' Trump said. "Chinese companies would have to pay all the additional costs".


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