Chinese tariffs on USA gas exports may shift global market

Andrew Cummings
August 12, 2018

Meanwhile, China announced retaliatory tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of USA imports from fuel and steel products to autos and medical equipment, the Chinese commerce ministry said.

At least four cargoes of USA coal worth $30 million (£23.32 million) are headed to China as Beijing prepares to hit imports with hefty 25-percent tariffs, threatening a niche supply of the fuel even as China's appetite for foreign coal shows no sign of abating. On July 6, the US began taxing the 818 goods, worth $34 billion, remaining from the April list. China promptly said I see you and I match you - $16 billion in tariffs on USA products.

China's exports to the United States surged last month as companies rushed to fill orders ahead of a jump in US tariffs on Chinese goods.

The U.S. has been seeking to have China reverse course on what it calls Beijing's "unreasonable and discriminatory" policies related to technology transfer and intellectual property and to narrow the trade deficit. China's domestic market is big enough for producers to engage in fair competition, make more profits and further expand their businesses, and for worldwide investors to invest and enjoy rich returns.

Exports rose 12.2pc in July in dollar terms from a year earlier, the customs administration said, faster than the forecast 10pc.

USTR Robert Lighthizer says, "The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is meant to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens".

Currently, most U.S. LNG exports are secured on long-term contacts, so the impact will be fairly limited until the deals expire. At the same time, overall imports to China jumped 27 percent last month. This list included various pharmaceutical products but the possibility of a potential trade war in pharmaceutical appears unlikely for now.

The even willing to hurt allies and itself to make that point: The tariffs "will hit semiconductors from China, even though numerous basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea".

Just last month, tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods came into effect.

The trade war between America and China is on the rise.

The tariffs apply to scrap plastics, paper, aluminum, ferrous metals, copper, nickel, zinc, tin and other base metals. In fact, he has threatened to slap tariffs on about 6 times as many imports as he has done so far, which would be a whole new level of trade warfare.

The additional tariff on US LNG could have a chilling effect on US investment and on shale developers' decisions on whether or not to sign more LNG supply contracts with China.

As Upstream went to press, the ministry announced a 25% tariff on a $16 billion-worth of USA goods including crude oil. They criticize Trump's tactics but share US complaints about Chinese industrial policy and market barriers. This, however, had been held up as Beijing rejigged its film regulator, handing more control to the ruling Communist Party, and then as trade tensions with the United States grew, Reuters reported. The products subject to the tariffs include a range of chemical and industrial products and consumer items.

The threat of increasing protectionist measures may have also prompted China to open up its market to Indian pharmaceutical industry.

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