Additional US action against Chinese imports likely

Robyn Valdez
March 16, 2018

Sources with Reuters say Trump is eyeing tariffs on China that would hit at least $60 billion worth of their annual cheap, imported goods in the U.S.

"The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the USA very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on Steel & Aluminum".

Tusk said it was not too late to turn this around and asked Trump to come through on his promise to exempt "real friends" from the tariffs.

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In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Sino-U.S. trade relations should not be a zero-sum game, and that the two countries should use "constructive" means to manage tension.

"Certainly, from an economic standpoint, the potential effect of tariffs continues to rattle through the markets", he said. For example, supply contracts should be reviewed (even for downstream - e.g., finished products) to determine whether cost increases due to increased customs duties can be passed on.

A source said the tariffs are associated with an investigation into intellectual property theft, which is a big issue with China.

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"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. Since 1985 we have provided research to customers ranging in size from global conglomerates to one-person consulting firms. The administration, according to the individuals involved, estimates the damage to USA companies from forced technology transfer at $30 billion annually.

The trans-Atlantic rift over Trump's tariffs was evident in the European Union legislature in Strasbourg, France, where parties of just about all persuasions lined up to criticize the USA plans. A "Made in America" comeback would revive the manufacturing industry we've slowly been losing to other countries and boost the economy and workforce. Affected users of imported steel and aluminum products may want to consider the utility and viability of seeking product exclusions for their imports. That would hurt producers but boost profits of construction and other industries in Southeast Asia.

The United States is expected to invoke a national security exception to WTO rules in imposing import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum announced by Trump last week.

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The US attempt to unleash a trade war on China creates a unsafe precedent which could undermine the very principle of free trade, Huang Weiping, professor at the People's University of China, warns. In my view, United States negotiators will use the threat of imposing the tariffs on Chinese producers as a way to persuade China's government to abandon the policy of "voluntary" technology transfers. Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the country had the option of retaliating against imports of USA soybeans, wheat and aircraft.

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