Newly announced US tariffs against China is under fire

The paper said that China had been on a mission to upgrade its output after going through a period when its export was driven by cheap and low-end products.

By Zhang Hong, Chen Zhenkai and Zhang Yuanqing from People’s Daily Overseas Edition

The US imposition of additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods received strong opposition from American business leaders and trade experts immediately after it was announced.

In an announcement on Monday, US President Donald Trump ordered his administration to levy 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion worth of goods from China on Sept. 24 and to increase the rate to 25 percent in early 2019.

Trump threatened that the White House would  “immediately” place tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese imports if China took retaliatory action.

For American consumers, the prices of washing machines, TV sets, and seasonings would be higher, said a CNN news presenter.

“Millions of American consumers will bear the brunt of these tariffs in the upcoming traditional shopping season. The government wants to pressure China, but we are clear that the additional tariffs will finally be put on our consumers,” the news presenter commented.

Before the newly-announced decision, the US farmers had already been impacted by the trade war. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that soybean prices in Minnesota had fallen about one third of the amount since Trump fired the opening shots of this trade war.

The total value of sales for corns in the state was even less than one percent of that in the last year, said the newspaper.

“The reckless escalation of the administration’s trade war is having serious consequences for rural America, which is already suffering from the uncertainty and low commodity prices caused by the disruptions to our markets,” US Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp said on her Twitter account on Monday.

The extra costs related to the high tariffs would be shouldered by the consumers, said Will Cunningham, a 2018 Democratic candidate of US House of Representatives, adding that the additional foreign tariffs meant nothing but more tax burden domestically.

“Today’s decision showed that the administration did not heed the numerous warnings from American consumers and businesses about rising costs and lost jobs,” US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue slammed the additional tariffs, according to Voice of America (VOA).

Some American firms warned that increasing tariffs could hurt their profits, force them to downsize production, and even destroy their businesses under certain circumstances. The government was totally unaware of the consequence, they noted.

The US National Association of Chemical Distributors, in a study released this month, predicted nearly 28,000 jobs of chemical distributors and suppliers would be eliminated because of higher prices from the $200 billion round of tariffs.

Dell, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise said in a letter to the US trade representative that tariffs on networking equipment could hurt their bottom lines and lead to possible job losses, CNN reported. However, their networks and router-type products would still face tariffs.

Analysts pointed out that China had enough confidence to respond to the challenges provoked by the US.

China had a strong foreign currency reserve and taken measures to cut down debt, which was an effective tool to shield itself from global uncertainties, said Agence France-Presse.

The Wall Street Journal commented that Chinese companies in the Pearl River Delta, the center of China’s manufacturing might, were accelerating their production of higher-quality products to compete against American goods.

The paper said that China had been on a mission to upgrade its output after going through a period when its export was driven by cheap and low-end products.

A commentary from the Washington Post, citing data from Peterson Institute for International Economics, said that more than three-quarters of the China-specific tariffs that Trumpimposed or proposed so far were on intermediate and capital equipment that US firms purchased, including some products for which China was the main supplier.

This meant Trump had restricted “China’s sales of materials, equipment and other parts that were key to US manufacturers’ supply chains”, it stressed.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.