China state media slams Trump's 'gang of hoodlums' as tariffs loom

Cheryl Sanders
July 6, 2018

China is expected to retaliate as soon as the U.S. tariffs go into effect, imposing duties on goods worth roughly the same amount but with a greater emphasis on politically sensitive farm agricultural products. Until then, the Trump administration's protectionism will take on more speed - resulting in higher tariffs on imported cars, a U.S.

The Trump administration contends that China has deployed predatory tactics in a push to overtake US technological dominance.

China will "absolutely not" fire the first shot in a trade war with the United States and will not be the first to levy tariffs, its finance ministry said on Wednesday. "China is never the only side to suffer", Cheng said.

Recent U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum antagonized fellow developed nations and drew return fire from countries including the European Union and Canada.

"If what the United States wants is to escalate a trade war with China, then so be it".

Analysts said that for companies with supply exposure to tariffs, they will move sourcing country of origin if they can; and if they cannot, they will pass on as much of the tariff cost as they can, or see a cut in margins.

The aim is to produce global champions - not just national ones - and Xi's government is ready to use the commanding heights of its one-party state to steer subsidies and use preferential policies and ambitious local content rules favoring Chinese companies to get there.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's government accused the USA of "firing first" in the trade war and vowed to shoot back.

"Frankly, I don't know what action China could take at the moment that would allow the United States to not impose tariffs", the USA source said, adding that there was no evidence the two governments had any substantive engagement at the moment that could lead to the shelving of duties.

"These tariffs target the vital parts and components used in equipment manufacturing throughout the U.S.", Slater said.

Chinese leaders say Washington wants to "contain a rising China" but fail to see how damaging Western governments consider their tactics to be, said Scott Kennedy of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "We think trade works for the American economy and tariffs don't". Eastern time Friday on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, a first step in what could become an accelerating series of tariffs.

"The Trump administration is behaving like a gang of hoodlums with its shakedown of other countries, particularly China", said an English-language article in the China Daily.

But China also believes that its economy, with a greater focus on domestic demand and a reduced dependence on exports, can ride out the storm.

"The worldwide financial crisis, which ensured that we now act in the framework of the G-20, would never have been resolved so quickly, despite the pain, if we hadn't cooperated in a multilateral fashion in the spirit of comradeship", Merkel said on Wednesday.

Instead of using tariffs, the US could've sought to join with the European Union and Japan to bring a case against China at the World Trade Organization.

"An open trade war with the US, which now seems imminent, would put a damper on China's push to straighten up its economy and to increase its global economic and geopolitical influence", Prasad said. Trump's tariffs are meant to pressure Beijing to reform its trade policies.

The Trump administration is poised to impose taxes on $50 billion of Chinese imports in high-tech industries, such as robotics, aerospace, and industrial machinery, in an attempt to punish Beijing for intellectual property theft and to rebalance a trade deficit. "To put it simply, the opening fire on the entire world, including itself", Gao said.

Trump also said the U.S. is ready to target an additional $200bn in Chinese imports - and then $300bn more - if Beijing does not yield to United States demands and continues to retaliate. It's also a position long championed by Democrats, although they have been mostly silent since Mr. Trump took up the cause. "But the country will encounter more barriers in future development, to which we should learn to adapt", it said. China's economy grew by 6.9% 2017 and the government has set a target of 6.5% for the current year.

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