US, China Hike Tariffs on Monday 09/24 05:32
China and the United States imposed new tariff hikes on each other's goods
Monday and Beijing accused Washington of bullying, giving no sign of compromise
in an intensifying battle over technology that is weighing on global economic
BEIJING (AP) -- China and the United States imposed new tariff hikes on each
other's goods Monday and Beijing accused Washington of bullying, giving no sign
of compromise in an intensifying battle over technology that is weighing on
global economic growth.
U.S. regulators went ahead with a planned 10 percent tax on a $200 billion
list of 5,745 Chinese imports including bicycles and furniture. China's customs
agency said it responded at noon by beginning to collect taxes of 5 or 10
percent on a $60 billion list of 5,207 American goods, from honey to industrial
The conflict stems from U.S. President Donald Trump's complaints Beijing
steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
American officials say Chinese plans for state-led development of global
competitors in robotics and other technologies violate its market-opening
obligations and might erode U.S. industrial leadership.
China's leaders offered to narrow their politically sensitive,
multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more
natural gas and other American exports. But they have rejected pressure to
change industry plans the communist leadership sees as a path to prosperity and
Monday's tariff hike follows a report by The Wall Street Journal that
Chinese officials pulled out of a meeting to discuss possible talks proposed by
Washington. The Chinese government had given no public indication whether it
would accept the invitation.
Envoys last met Aug. 22 in Washington but reported no progress.
With no settlement in sight, forecasters say the conflict between the two
biggest economies could trim global growth through 2020.
On Monday, the ratings agency Fitch cut its forecasts for next year's
Chinese and global economic growth by 0.1 percentage points to 6.1 percent and
3.1 percent, respectively.
"The trade war is now a reality," said Fitch's chief economist, Brian
Coulton, in a report. "The downside risks to our global growth forecasts have
Earlier, the two sides imposed 25 percent penalties on $34 billion of each
other's goods in July and another $16 billion in August. Business groups say
American companies also report Chinese regulators are starting to disrupt their
operations through slower customs clearance and more environmental and other
The first American tariffs targeted goods Washington said benefit from
improper Chinese industrial policies. American regulators tried to limit the
public impact by focusing on industrial machinery and components, but the
latest $200 billion list includes bicycles, wooden furniture and other consumer
Chinese regulators have tried to cushion the blow on their own economy by
targeting American goods such as soybeans, natural gas, fruit, whisky and
automobiles that are available from Europe, Latin America and other Asian
Trump threatened last week to add $267 billion in Chinese imports to the
target list if Beijing retaliated for the latest U.S. taxes. That would cover
nearly everything China sells to the United States.
On Monday, the Chinese government accused the Trump administration in a
report of "trade bullyism" and of preaching "economic hegemony."
The toughly worded report said Beijing wants a "reasonable solution" but
gave no indication of possible concessions.
It affirmed China's stance that it is a developing country, a claim that
rankles Washington, Europe and other trading partners.
They point to China's status as a major manufacturer and a growing
competitor in smartphones and other technology. They say Beijing is no longer
entitled to concessions it was granted when it joined the World Trade
Organization in 2001, such as the right to limit access to its finance, energy
and other markets.
Chinese leaders have tried without success to recruit as allies German,
France, South Korea and other trading partners that echo U.S. complaints about
Chinese market barriers and industry plans but criticize Trump's approach.
The Trump administration has "has brazenly preached unilateralism,
protectionism and economic hegemony, making false accusations against many
countries and regions, particularly China, intimidating other countries through
economic measures such as imposing tariffs, and attempting to impose its own
interests on China through extreme pressure," the official Xinhua News Agency
Chinese leaders have announced changes this year including tariff cuts and
plans to end ownership limits in their auto industry. But businesspeople who
have met senior planners say they express no willingness even to discuss
changes to technology development plans.
As the fight intensifies, China is running out of U.S. imports for
Imports of American goods last year totaled $153.9 billion while the United
States bought Chinese goods worth $429.8 billion, according to Chinese customs
data. Monday's increase leaves Beijing with about $40 billion of goods for
penalties while the Washington has almost $200 billion.