Chinese state media accuses Donald Trump of "deceitful drama" in trade spat

06 August, 2018, 08:02 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Chinese state media accuses Donald Trump of

In early July, the U.S. imposed 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese goods, with another US$16 billion to be targeted in coming weeks, sparking retaliatory measures from China.

The most recent threat from the Trump administration came this week, when it warned that it could impose steeper tariffs than originally planned on another batch of imports from China. These tariffs will become effective if the USA further hinders bilateral trade by renewing tariffs on more Chinese products, the commission said in a statement.

Trump, in a series of Twitter posts before an OH campaign rally, said he was using tariffs, and the threat of tariffs, to try to force other countries to renegotiate trade deals with the United States. "Other countries use Tariffs against, but when we use them, foolish people scream!"

It would be nice if the administration had put as much intelligence and ingenuity into setting its trade policies as Trump's defenders have put into devising rationales for them.

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It is indeed due to the lack of meaningful consultation between China and the US that Beijing has chose to elevate the stakes in a manner that is directly reflective of Donald Trump's unwillingness to negotiate a new era in Sino-US trading relations on a win-win model.

The administration is drawing strength from a rise in the USA growth rate and signs of a slowdown in China's growth as the value of the yuan continues to fall.

"Virtually nothing has happened in a trade dialogue with China in a month or six weeks", Kudlow said. "These are the things we have asked them in a number of meetings". Cheniere, Tellurian Inc. and other LNG developers have been courting utilities and state-backed companies in China to fund construction of more terminals to ship the super-chilled form of the gas.

"They keep digging the hole deeper, violating the first rule of holes, which is when you're in one, stop digging", said William Reinsch, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who worked at the Commerce department during the Clinton administration. But there are major obstacles in the way of further negotiations. There's "some hint" the Chinese may be warming to the idea, and recently there's been some communications at the highest levels of both governments, Kudlow said.

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The market is not large by value compared with approximately $12 billion of US crude that came to China past year, but LNG imports could shoot up as Beijing forges ahead with its plan to switch millions of households to the fuel away from coal as part of its battle against smog.

Sometime Trump adviser Stephen Moore took the same line in the Washington Times, but with more enthusiasm, after Trump and the European Union called a kind of trade-war truce: "Well done, Mr. President". Mnuchin is more in favour of coming to an agreement that would bring about a reduction in the United States deficit. Much of the trade war with allies is really about US domestic politics and the upcoming US November midterm elections. For them, the central objective is to block China's economic and technological development under its "Made in China 2025", plan which they regard as the most significant threat to the economic, and ultimately military, supremacy of the US.

"Instead of retaliating, China should address the longstanding concerns about its unfair trading practices, many of which are laid out in [the U.S. Trade Representative's] 301 report", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. Neither side is showing any sign of backing down. Previous rounds of tariffs cover a lengthy list of products, from steel and aluminum to washing machines.

The essential objective foundations of the trade war are now emerging more clearly into the open.

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"China's countermeasures do not intend to purely pursue equivalence in the same amount as the U.S. tariff rates".

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