US President Donald Trump has defended his tariffs against China, tweeting that they had brought Beijing to the negotiating table. It said retaliatory duties of between 5 and 25 percent will be imposed on 5,207 products "if the USA side persists in putting its tariff measures into effect".
The question is what other tools the two countries may use, once they have no more goods upon which to impose tariffs.
China has said new duties will be applied only if Washington pulls the trigger on its new tariffs.
The conflict is expected to be high on the gathering's agenda, with the U.S. and China already imposing 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion of each other's goods and duties on another US$16 billion in Chinese products in the pipeline.
Washington says its actions are aimed at correcting the level playing field because the USA suffers from a severe trade deficit in its business with China. Another $16 billion in levies will likely follow in the coming days or weeks.
The U.S. trade gap is now on track to hit a ten-year high, despite a series of tariffs imposed on products and raw materials around the world by the Trump administration. The Chinese side seem to be seeking to match that ratio with the new proposals.
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A commentary on the front page stated that Trump's eagerness for others to play along with his drama is "wishful thinking", pointing out that the United States had worsened the trade spat with China into a "zero-sum game".
To put matters bluntly, the USA government is now facing the medium term possibility of paying its farmers to throw away foodstuffs while Chinese investment in its various domestic industries is used to help push Chinese goods to the forefront of innovation while helping Chinese products ranging from agriculture to industrial goods to reach foreign shelves.
Speaking on the sidelines of a security forum in Singapore, he hit back at Mr Kudlow's remarks: "As to whether China's economy is doing well or not, I think it is all too clear to the whole worldwide community", Mr Wang said, adding that China contributed a huge amount to global economic growth.
Taking into full consideration the interests of its people and companies, as well as the global value chain, the Chinese government made the decision to impose differentiated tariff rates targeting $60 billion worth of United States goods. China instead is threatening roughly two-fifths of its US purchases after Trump threatened two-fifths of China's much larger exports to the United States, said Tu Xinquan, executive dean of the China Institute for World Trade Organization Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
"China's differential tax rate countermeasures are rational and restrained", the Ministry of Commerce said in a separate statement on its website. The news came just after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Singapore.
Many economists say that Trump's focus on trade deficits is misguided and that large trade deficits simply show increased domestic demand. "Obviously, the US tariffs won't help and they are going to cause some damage", he said. "Given China's huge market, its systemic advantage of being able to concentrate resources on big projects, its people's tenacity in enduring hardships and its steadiness in implementing reform and opening-up policies, the country can survive a trade war". Rather, the USA importers bringing the products into the United States pay the tariffs. China market has dropped 27% in the last 4 months, and they are talking to us.