White House indicates more United States actions against Chinese imports

16 March, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • REUTERS  Ginnette Riquelme

Documents seen yesterday by AFP also indicated the United States has proposed WTO reforms that would punish member countries which fail to abide by certain rules - a move seen as being aimed squarely at Beijing, which the Trump administration says is not a market economy and should not have been admitted the WTO. The report, citing two sources which had spoken with the Trump administration, dovetails with an article in Politico which described the president's insistence on big tariffs. Recent weeks have seen him follow through on those promises, with Trump announcing in early March a 25 per cent tariff on United States steel imports, but with exemptions for Canada and Mexico.

--Manufacturing executives should undertake a systematic supply-chain review.

Trump himself has for decades held nationalist views on trade and opposed globalisation.

"I think what they are really waiting and watching for is the next sort of results of the possible trade tariffs that the US might announce on intellectual property", he said.

"A tariff is a tax, plain and simple", said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF. For some, the simplest move may be to source USA -manufactured materials instead of imported metals.

"These measures could make a significant impact on the economic and cooperative relationship between Japan and the US, who are allies", said Japan's foreign minister, Taro Kono.

Higher tariffs on these products would "hurt American families", said Hun Quach, a trade lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

Steel producing countries worry not just about lost sales in the USA, but also that steel from other exporting nations will flood in.

Trump has also raised the possibility of escalating the potential trade war if Europe reacts, and said that he could increase tariffs on European Union cars sent across the pond.

According to the report, one goal of the tariffs is to, "punish China for its investment policies that effectively force US companies to give up their technology secrets in exchange for being allowed to operate in the country". Earlier this year, Trump pulled the USA out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In Asia, a large share of Japanese and Chinese steel goes to countries in the region's southeast, where booming construction and light industries are fueling strong demand for steel. Affected users of imported steel and aluminum products may want to consider the utility and viability of seeking product exclusions for their imports.

"His goal is free, fair, and reciprocal trade agreements in which other countries grant American products and American exports just as much access as we grant to their products and their imports into the US".

Trump last Thursday formally signed proclamations to impose a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum, which is scheduled to come into force in 15 days.

It is also unclear if the requested $100 billion reduction would address USA complaints about China's investment policies that effectively require United States firms to transfer technology to Chinese joint venture partners in order to gain market access.

"The president told him it wasn't enough", said a second executive.


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