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China vows to 'fight back' after USA threaten $200bn tariffs on goods

12 July 2018

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The United States and China launched what Beijing called the "biggest trade war in economic history" Friday, July 6, imposing tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods amid a spiraling dispute over technology.

USA ambassador Dennis Shea, who was among the first to speak at the closed-door review, argued that China had exploited its membership to take advantage of other nations and that if unchecked Beijing's misconduct would ruin the WTO. "Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong". Both governments have raised tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other's goods and already said they are considering additional charges on another $16 billion. The tariffs announced Tuesday would be the third wave.

Several traders said they saw some dollar selling by large state banks in the spot market, which went some way to supporting the yuan, though they did not know whether USA dollar liquidity offered by the banks was on behalf of the central bank or corporate clients. These tactics include the outright theft of trade secrets, government subsidies to homegrown tech firms and demands that USA and other foreign companies hand over technology if they want access to China's vast market. "There is no justification for such action".

Between the uncertainty that the US-China trade war poses and the prospect for the Federal Reserve to raise rates twice more this year, it would appear that near-term fundamental drivers for the US Dollar are a wash, leaving the greenback's outlook stuck in "neutral" for the time being.

The officials said they tried to target goods that would reduce the harm to US consumers.

The country's Commerce Ministry earlier threatened "comprehensive measures", which were feared to include harassing American companies in China.

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State media cast news of new tariffs and slumping shares in a different light.

China's imports of USA goods are so small that Beijing "cannot match fresh US tariffs", said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report. That would leave China only $80 billion for further retaliation. "To protect the core interests of the nation and its people, the Chinese government will be forced to impose necessary countermeasures".

Tuesday's announcement was met with backlash from some quarters.

"The Chinese side is shocked by the actions of the U.S.", it said in a statement, according to a translation by Google.

The National Retail Federation, an industry group, warned about the impact on prices from the new measures.

'Given China's likelihood of retaliation, it's also billions worth of new tariffs on American exporters'.

Even more tariffs could be on the way.

"The administration's announcement of a potential 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of additional imports from China, including a significant amount of chemicals, is a stunning and unfortunate development for US manufacturers and consumers", ACC said in a July 11 statement.

China vows to 'fight back' after USA threaten $200bn tariffs on goods