Chinese state media accuse US of ‘mobster mentality’, vow to fight tariffs

Thomas Peter-Pool  Getty Images Donald Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping

Thomas Peter-Pool Getty Images Donald Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping

Almost five months after President Donald Trump first confronted China with tariffs over its trade practices, the two countries are farther than ever from resolving their differences and appear to be digging in for what is likely to be a long and bruising conflict. They are the highest-value variety meat item the USA exports to China. US-made condoms are among the latest items Beijing is threatening to include on its US$60 billion list of American products to be hit by tariffs.

China said on Wednesday that it will impose 25% tariffs on an additional U.S. $16 billion worth of American good from Aug 23.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office could not immediately be reached for comment on China's retaliation announcement or whether this would trigger Trump's next round of threatened tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

In a statement Wednesday, the Chinese Commerce Ministry charged the United States has "once again put domestic law above global law by imposing "very unreasonable" new tariffs on Chinese goods".

"At one point during the dinner, Trump noted of an unnamed country that the attendee said was clearly China, 'almost every student that comes over to this country is a spy'".

Erdogan warns U.S. of harming its own interests, security
Erdogan replied that Turkey will not back down despite Trump's sanctions policy and said he would answer with mirror retaliation. He returned to his familiar refrain of urging Turks to use their reserves of dollars, euros and gold to buy up lire .

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced a 25% charge on $16 billion worth of USA goods.

As the South China Morning Post noted in a report on August 4, if China were forced to devalue its currency, "the only reaction in Southeast Asian capitals from Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi, Bangkok and Jakarta will be panic". They are meant to protect homegrown businesses and put foreign competitors at a disadvantage.

On Wednesday, official data from China showed US imports of LNG fell to their lowest level in a year for the month of July, Reuters records showed. Along with the trade spat, Chinese stocks have suffered from slowing growth in the debt-laden economy.

The unusually strong July import figures reflected higher prices, according to Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics. "But some of these projects will struggle to attract financing if (China) goes ahead and raises tariff barriers on U.S. LNG", Brennan wrote in a Tuesday note. And since 2007, domestic wholesale and retail proceeds have been higher than export earnings, with the gap widening at a slow but steady pace over the past decade. The surplus with the United States fell slightly (by 2.8%) in July, after registering a record in June. The trade gap with the 28-nation European Union contracted by 8 percent to $11.2 billion.

USTR said there were 279 new goods to be targeted in the latest round of tariffs. Last year's imports from the United States totaled about $130 billion.

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