The tariff escalation between the two powers is aggravated and leads to the commercial war
Donald Trump does not put the brakes on China. Beijing warned on Wednesday that it would respond with tariffs of 25% to American products worth 50 billion dollars if Washington confirmed the ones announced by the same amount. And the New Yorker reacted this Thursday to the “unjust retaliation” by asking his Commerce advisors to consider the convenience of incorporating additional rates for a total of 100,000 million. With the doubling of the bet, the drums of a commercial war sound louder.
Trump cries against the US trade deficit, the negative difference between what it exports and what it imports, and China accounts for the bulk of that gap, 375,000 million of the 556,000 million. The president accuses Beijing of achieving this exporting power based on the theft of US technology and other forms of unfair competition, so it has activated the tariff machine. The Government of Xi Jinping, for its part, has triggered the spiral of reprisals.
“China’s illicit commercial practices – neglected by Washington for years – have destroyed thousands of US factories and millions of US jobs,” Trump said in a statement. He justified that the tariffs of 50,000 million on some 1,300 products from China – electronic devices, chemical products, industrial machinery and technology, among others – had been decided as a repair after a government investigation. This determined the misappropriation of technology by the Asian power.
However, “far from remedying their conduct, China has opted to harm our farmers and our factories,” lamented the president. “In light of China’s unjust retaliation, I have asked the US Trade Bureau to consider whether additional tariffs of 100,000 million would be appropriate under section 301 [of the Trade Act of 1974, through which it has conveyed the investigation], “he added.
The Chinese government responded to the United States with tariffs on 106 products of an equal economic amount -50,000 million- that include automobiles, chemical products, soybeans and some aircraft. He conditioned his entry into force for Washington to back down, something that in the light of this last Trump’s hardship does not seem likely.
China limits considerably the sectors in which foreigners can invest in the country and imposes the association with a local company in others and neither this nor the possible technological appropriation have aroused only criticism in the US. But Trump has chosen to go alone in his offensive against these economic practices, instead of seeking the complicity of the allied countries within the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the stupid or incompetent people who represented the United States,” Trump said on Twitter. “Now we have a trade deficit of 500,000 million a year, with intellectual property theft of 300,000 million. We can not allow it to continue! “The president said on Wednesday. The rates announced by China will face the interests of some agricultural regions that are their electoral feud.
Apart from this wave of tariffs that both powers have announced, there are others of smaller caliber already officialized. The ones from Washington include the Chinese steel and aluminum taxes for 3,000 million and those of Beijing the pork, certain fruits, wine and steel pipes for the same value.
Despite the economic conflict, Trump has been very friendly with Xi Jinping, whom he has enthusiastically praised. In addition, China has supported the US in the strategy of more hard-line with North Korea, whose regime has been open to negotiate a denuclearization. That of the trade deficit, however, is a battle that Trump seems willing to give until the end and that, when it begins to crystallize, it can have global effects.
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