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“It's time for a Trade War” said President Dumb aka Cadet Bone Spurs


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Author Topic: “It's time for a Trade War” said President Dumb aka Cadet Bone Spurs  (Read 570 times)
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« on: January 23, 2018, 07:20:06 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times....

China trade war fear grows

U.S. could see strong backlash from Beijing if Trump follows up on tough rhetoric.

By DON LEE | Tuesday, January 16, 2018

President Trump speaks to Chinese President Xi Jinping in front of First Lady Melania Trump and Xi's wife, Peng Liyuan, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in November. Trump has made oft-repeated promises to get tough with China on trade. — Photograph: Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
President Trump speaks to Chinese President Xi Jinping in front of First Lady Melania Trump and Xi's wife, Peng Liyuan, in the
Great Hall of the People in Beijing in November. Trump has made oft-repeated promises to get tough with China on trade.
 — Photograph: Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


WASHINGTON — For years, one bright spot in the United States' huge trade imbalance with China has been the Asian nation's soaring appetite for American agriculture.

But this month, China abruptly imposed stricter requirements on billions of dollars of American soybeans in a way that threatens to curb the exports and punish a wide swath of the U.S. heartland.

And that could be just the beginning, if President Trump follows through on his oft-repeated promise to get tough with Beijing on trade.

Although Chinese media attributed the new policy to quarantine officials who reported finding mildew contamination in some shipments, the tactic was all too familiar and the message unmistakably clear.

“It was kind of a warning shot that they're not going to take things lying down, and that there will be pain for U.S. exporters” should Trump levy trade sanctions on China, said David Loevinger, a former senior Treasury Department official for China affairs and now an analyst for TCW Emerging Markets Group in Los Angeles.

“Beans and Boeing,” quipped Derek Scissors, a China specialist at the American Enterprise Institute, listing the two most likely targets of Chinese retaliation. Soybeans and airplanes are America's top two exports to China, and farmers in particular have long held sway on Capitol Hill.

After a relatively quiet first year on China trade, the Trump administration is gearing up to announce several actions, including possible tariffs stemming from investigations into a range of Chinese behaviors that it views as distorting trade and hurting U.S. firms and workers.

Among these are allegations of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer in which U.S. companies wanting to do business in China must turn over their tech and production secrets, which Chinese competitors then adopt. Trump officials launched the probe by dusting off an old provision of U.S. trade laws that gives the president broad powers to apply punitive measures.

Late on Thursday, the Commerce Department said it sent Trump the results of an investigation into whether steel imports threaten U.S. national security. The probe targets China, the biggest steel producer, and could lead to tariffs, import quotas or both. Trump has 90 days to decide.

Separately, the U.S. International Trade Commission decided on Friday that imports of Chinese aluminum were harming the U.S. industry, and will now proceed to determine what penalties would be appropriate. The Trump administration took the rare step of starting the aluminum case on its own, even though no U.S. firms had filed a complaint.

“Whatever you think the degree of trade friction was last year, it's going to be much more frictional and much more tit-for-tat in the coming year,” said David M. Lampton, director of China studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

A decision to slap tariffs on Chinese aluminum, steel or solar panels, by itself, probably would not be enough to trigger a serious trade conflict.

Instead China probably would give a measured response, given their relatively small impact on the Chinese economy, said Andy Rothman, an investment strategist at Matthews Asia in San Francisco and former economic officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Others say that if American jobs and wages keep growing as expected in the near term, Trump will have economic cover to put off action or continue to apply a light hand in his dealings with China, as he has so far.

The president last year declined to label China a currency manipulator despite his campaign promise to do so as soon as he took office. As a candidate, he had also threatened to impose tariffs of 45% on Chinese imports.

But last year, Trump courted a personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping in hopes of using trade as leverage to win Beijing's help in reining in North Korea's nuclear ambitions. That strategy has had mixed results, at best.

And with his trade and economic team now largely in place, including top trade official Robert Lighthizer, Trump wants fundamental changes in China trade, not incremental improvements.

To that end, Trump officials already have made clear the United States won't support China’s yearning to be recognized at the World Trade Organization as a market-based economy.

His administration has signaled that Chinese investments in the United States will have a harder time getting approved.

And in a sharp departure from recent administrations, Democratic and Republican, Trump's National Security Strategy issued last month referred to China, along with Russia, as a threat to the United States, noting that the two nations “challenge American power, influence and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.”

Even with increased American exports of foods, planes and medical equipment, the overall U.S. trade deficit in goods with China has not only kept rising under Trump, but almost certainly reached a new record last year, exceeding the previous high of $367 billion in 2015. The full-year results will be released next month. (The Chinese government said on Friday its trade surplus with the United States last year was the largest ever.)

Trump has repeatedly denounced large deficits with trading partners, none of which is bigger than the one with China. The president is sure to come under increasing pressure from constituents in states where Trump's attacks on foreign trade found particular resonance and ultimately helped catapult him into the White House.

In the past, Beijing could count on American corporations to press the White House and Congress to soften their stance on China, but there's a lot more ambivalence today. U.S. businesses have grown increasingly frustrated at Chinese policies favoring domestic companies, and with the central government's broad retreat from its 2013 road map to step up economic reforms and let market forces drive growth in the country.

The political climate in the United States isn't likely to help, either. Even without Trump stirring the pot, China figures to be a popular target ahead of the mid-term elections, as in the past.

“We're in an election year that's not going to reward moderation, and we've got two nationalistic leaders who are pretty full of themselves,” said Lampton, referring to Trump and Xi. For his part, Xi has raised his political stature to something like the status of supreme leaders Mao Tse-tung and Deng Xiaoping by purging political opponents and tightening control of the internet and media.

“He is exuding a confidence that China has arrived on the international scene in a big way, and they're not going to be bullied and pushed around, and if you want to mess with China, then China will mess with you back,” David Bachman, a China scholar at the University of Washington in Seattle, said of Xi.

Nor does Trump's character suggest a White House that will turn the other cheek, even though both Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic advisor, and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin are said to be urging their boss to refrain from drastic actions such as across-the-board tariffs on Chinese goods that could ignite a trade war. That in turn would damage the stock market and economic growth, not to mention upset Trump's base of blue-collar workers who depend on cheap goods from China and whose jobs could be hurt as well. China's economy would suffer as well.

“I don't see this as a kind of Armageddon type of confrontation because I think that after turmoil of some degree, there is enough pragmatism when it comes to the economy that there will be shifting ground on both sides,” said Claire Reade, a senior counsel at Arnold & Porter and former assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs.

Even so, Reade and many others are worried that Trump and his trade team will misjudge the political and economic calculus in the relationship, believing the United States has the leverage to win fundamental changes in the way China operates its economy.

Many experts think the Trump administration would be more effective in opening Chinese markets by working with allies to put pressure on China, instead of imposing harsh measures unilaterally.

Though important, American products, know-how and investments represent a smaller part of the Chinese economy than in the past, and Beijing has increasingly sought to diversify and expand its reach in the global economy. China could buy its soybeans from Brazil, its airplanes from Europe and its beef from Australia.

“The U.S. isn't the driver in China as it once was,” said Russell Johnson, president of China Array Plastics.

American companies in China may be grumbling more today, he said, but ultimately they want to be there because of China's big market. After four decades of doing business in China, Johnson says things are about as good for manufacturers as ever, and he remains “guardedly optimistic” that a trade war won't erupt.

“The wild card in this whole thing is Trump. You just don't know what he's going to do on any particular front,” Johnson said.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Don Lee covers the U.S. and global economy out of Washington, D.C. Since joining the Los Angeles Times in 1992, he has served as the Shanghai bureau chief and in various editing and reporting roles in California. He is a native of Seoul, Korea, and graduated from the University of Chicago.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=b6073d1e-27a9-440e-b1d6-0ffb6cad55e7
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2018, 07:20:27 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Trump slaps big tariffs on imported solar panels
in major escalation of a trade fight with China


By EVAN HALPER and DON LEE | 5:20PM EST — Monday, January 22, 2018

The solar business in the U.S. has boomed in recent years, driven by falling prices for panels, thanks in part to cheap imports. — Photograph: Susan Montoya Bryan/Associated Press.
The solar business in the U.S. has boomed in recent years, driven by falling prices for panels, thanks in part to cheap imports.
 — Photograph: Susan Montoya Bryan/Associated Press.


THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION Trump administration announced on Monday that it would impose hefty tariffs on the cheap, imported panels that have driven the rapid expansion of solar power in the United States, a move that industry groups warned would slow the spread of renewable energy and cost thousands of jobs.

The tariffs come as President Trump has vowed to take a tough line against cheap foreign imports that he blames for undercutting American manufacturing industries.

The administration also announced it would impose hefty tariffs on imported large residential washing machines. In both cases, inexpensive imports — mostly from China in the case of the solar panels — have undercut U.S. manufacturers, administration officials said.

Imports from China have been a particular target of Trump's rhetoric. The tariffs are the most concrete step that he has taken to put those words into action. They mark the start of what many analysts expect will be a series of tougher actions on trade by Trump in the coming months, especially against China, with whom the U.S. has a huge trade deficit.

The administration also has taken moves against imports of Chinese-made steel and aluminum and is considering sweeping sanctions against China for allegedly stealing U.S. intellectual property and forcing American companies to hand over technology secrets to do business in China.

Trump acted after the government's International Trade Commission “found that U.S. producers had been seriously injured by imports,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “The president's action makes clear again that the Trump administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses.”

But the move against imported solar panels also threatens some of the very types of jobs that Trump has vowed to protect. Companies that install solar panels will probably trim their workforces, industry analysts warned, as the tariff — which starts at 30% on the imported panels and gradually declines each year — threatens to substantially raise the price of solar power in the United States.

Imposition of the tariffs drew protests from environmentalists, who said the move would set back efforts to combat global warming, and from the solar power industry.

The levies, said Abigail Ross Hopper, chief executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association, “will create a crisis in a part of our economy that has been thriving, which will ultimately cost tens of thousands of hard-working, blue-collar Americans their jobs.”

California, where the renewables industry has taken off, will be among the states hardest hit by the new levies.

The industry trade group estimates the tariffs on solar panels will cost 23,000 jobs nationwide within the year, and that billions of dollars in potential investment in solar power will evaporate because of them.

The move also drew protest from some Republicans who said it violated the party's long-standing support for free trade.

"Here's something Republicans used to understand: Tariffs are taxes on families," said Senator Ben Sasse (Republican-Nebraska).

The case for tariffs was filed at the International Trade Commission by two American firms that say their businesses have been crushed by cheap imports from Asia and Europe, which by now account for more than 90% of the solar panels installed in the U.S.

The trade commission voted last month 4-0 in favor of imposing tariffs. It said the action was needed to confront the near-extinction of an American industry.

The commission found that the cheap imported panels had played a major role in a boom in solar power. The tripling of solar capacity in the U.S. was “spurred on by artificially low-priced solar cells and modules from China,” the commission said.

But the import boom also has contributed to more than two dozen U.S. solar manufacturers closing since 2012.

Government incentives in China have enabled its solar panel makers to produce 61% of the world's solar panels, the trade commission said. In 2005, China produced just 7%.

Few analysts, however, beyond those hired by the firms that filed the trade petition, project the tariffs will revive the panel-manufacturing industry.

The companies that filed the complaint had pushed for far steeper tariffs than Trump ultimately imposed, aiming for a remedy that would have lifted the cost of imported panels from 35 cents per watt to 78 cents, which is around the cost of the American product.

Under Trump's plan, the initial 30% tariff would decline by 5 percentage points each year. The tariff would last for four years. The first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar panels would be exempted from the tariff each year.

The tariffs on washing machines are even steeper than those on solar panels: Trump approved tariffs of up to 50% on imports of finished washers as well as on major parts that go into them, such as plastic tubs and metal drums.

The tariffs, set for three years, were sought by the appliance maker Whirlpool Corporation, which operates washer plants in the United States and employs about 15,000 manufacturing workers.

The action targeted two Korean companies, Samsung and LG, which have made significant gains in U.S. market share for residential washers in recent years. Both companies recently have moved to open assembly plants in the U.S., but the new tariffs on imported washer parts means that the machines will be more expensive for them to produce even on American soil.

Whirlpool argued that Samsung and LG were exporting washers at unfair prices and that they had repeatedly avoided previous country-specific tariffs by shifting production from Korea and Mexico to China and most recently to Thailand and Vietnam.

The unfair competition, Whirlpool said, had hurt its sales and curbed its employment, despite large investments at plants like the one in Clyde, Ohio, where some 3,000 people work.

“This announcement caps nearly a decade of litigation and will result in new manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee,” Whirlpool Chairman Jeff M. Fettig said in a statement on Monday.

But officials in South Carolina and Tennessee, where the two Korean companies have factories, had warned that a tariff could cost jobs in their states.

“Today's announcement is a great loss for American consumers and workers,” Samsung said in a statement. “This tariff is a tax on every consumer who wants to buy a washing machine. Everyone will pay more, with fewer choices.”

The two firms that brought the solar case — Georgia-based Suniva, which is in bankruptcy, and Oregon-based Solar World Americas, a struggling subsidiary of the bankrupt German firm SolarWorld AG — sought relief through the filing of what is known as a “section 201” case.

That provision of the nation's trade law allows the president to broadly impose tariffs if the trade commission finds the move is needed to protect an American industry from economic peril.

The provision had not been exercised since 2001, when President George W. Bush invoked it to protect U.S. steelmakers from imports. Other nations retaliated, and the World Trade Organization ultimately voided the levies.

The solar tariffs could ultimately meet the same fate. The World Trade Organization applies a high standard for proving injury. But even if it ultimately rejects the administration's tariffs, the levies will remain in place until it does.

The firms applauded Trump's move. “The president is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight,” said a statement from Suniva.

On the other side, the Natural Resources Defense Council, a leading environmental group, said the decision would reverse the progress toward greater use of solar energy.

“Higher-priced panels will dramatically reduce the pace of new solar energy installations, increase climate-changing emissions, and lead to significant job losses nationwide,” the group said.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Evan Halper writes about a broad range of policy issues out of Washington D.C., with particular emphasis on how Washington regulates, agitates and very often miscalculates in its dealings with California. Before heading east, he was the Los Angeles Times bureau chief in Sacramento, where he spent a decade untangling California's epic budget mess and political dysfunction.

• Don Lee covers the U.S. and global economy out of Washington, D.C. Since joining the Los Angeles Times in 1992, he has served as the Shanghai bureau chief and in various editing and reporting roles in California. He is a native of Seoul, Korea, and graduated from the University of Chicago.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pol-solar-tariffs-20180122-story.html
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 07:22:27 pm »


Chuckle....I guess it's going to become harder for American exporters to get their soya beans into China without all sorts of hassles, eh?

And I guess Chinese airlines are going to be spending up big on Airbus airliners instead of spending their money at Boeing, eh?

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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 09:04:38 pm »

trump is better than that commie pussy stooge obama who let china walk all over the us  Wink

hey what did you do to reality cant see him anymore?
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2018, 09:29:17 am »


Airbus are going to be laughing all the way to the bank as they make multiple billions of dollars in sales of jetliners to China while Boeing dips out.

Big job losses coming at Boeing. Haw haw haw.
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 04:29:32 pm »

the stock market has broken every record america is booming jobs are at an all time high
he's not doing too bad while he's constantly being attacked by the left and the media

yes trump and america are winning
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 05:38:08 pm »


The stockmarket is over-hyped and is going to crash soon, big-time.

I betcha Trump (who is falsely claiming credit for the current sharemarket boom) will suddenly disassociate himself from it when that occurs.

That's because Donald J. Trump is a total fraud who as a businessman has had his company go bankrupt seven times.

Not a very successful businessman, eh? More like a rip-off artist who rips-off everybody around him to save his own neck whenever he has mismanaged his company to the extent that it has gone bankrupt. A ponzy scheme operator. A criminal.


And about that rosy economic outlook.....



from The Telegraph....

World finance now more dangerous than in 2008,
warns central bank guru


By AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD | 12:53PM — Monday, 22 January 2018



THE world financial system is as dangerously stretched today as it was at the peak of the last bubble but this time the authorities are caught in a ‘policy trap’ with few defences left, a veteran central banker has warned.

Nine years of emergency money has had a string of perverse effects and lured emerging markets into debt dependency, without addressing the structural causes of the global disorder.

“All the market indicators right now look very similar to what we saw before the Lehman crisis, but the lesson has somehow been forgotten,” said William White, the Swiss-based head of the OECD's review board and ex-chief economist for the Bank for International Settlements.

Professor White said disturbing evidence of credit degradation is emerging almost daily. The latest horror is the revelation that distressed UK construction group Carilion quietly raised £112m through German Schuldschein bonds. South African retailer Steinhoff also tapped this obscure market, borrowing €730m.

Schuldschein loans were once a feature of rock-solid lending to family Mittelstand companies in Germany. The transformation of this corner of the market into a form of high-risk shadow banking, apparently to evade scrutiny, shows how badly the lending system has been distorted by quantitative easing (QE) and negative interest rates.

Professor White said there is an intoxicating optimism at the top of every unstable boom when people latch on to good news and convince themselves that risk is fading, but that is precisely when the worst mistakes are made. Stress indicators were equally depressed in 2007 just before the storm broke.

This time central banks are holding a particularly ferocious tiger by the tail. Global debt ratios have surged by a further 51 percentage points of GDP since the Lehman crisis, reaching a record 327 percent (IIF data). Every part of the world economy is exhibiting some deformed pathology.


Professor William White is the ex-chief economist for the Bank for International Settlements. — Photograph: Real Vision.
Professor William White is the ex-chief economist for the Bank for International Settlements. — Photograph: Real Vision.

This is a new phenomenon in economic history and can be tracked to QE liquidity leakage from the West, which flooded East Asia, Latin America, and other emerging markets, with a huge extra push from China pursuing its own torrid venture. “Central banks have been pouring more fuel on the fire,” he told the Daily Telegraph, speaking before the World Economic Forum in Davos. 

“Should regulators really be congratulating themselves that the system is now safer? Nobody knows what is going to happen when they unwind QE. The markets had better be very careful because there are a lot of fracture points out there,” he said.

“Pharmaceutical companies are subject to laws forcing them to test for unintended consequences before they launch a drug, but central banks launched the huge social experiment of QE with carelessly little thought about the side-effects,” he said.

The US Federal Reserve is already reversing bond purchases — ignoring warnings by former Fed chair Ben Bernanke — and will ratchet up the pace to $50bn a month this year. It will lead to a surge in supply of US Treasury bonds just as the Trump Administration's tax and spending blitz pushes the US budget deficit toward $1 trillion, and just as China and Japan trim Treasury holdings.

It has the makings of a perfect storm. At best, the implication is that yields on 10-year US Treasuries — the world's benchmark price of money — will  spike enough to send tremors through credit markets. We are not close to the danger point but the yield crept up to a three-year high of 2.66 percent last week. It has broken out of its 36-year downtrend, prompting loud warnings of a secular bond rout.

The edifice of inflated equity and asset markets is built on the premise that interest rates will remain pinned to the floor. The latest stability report by the US Treasury's Office of Financial Research (OFR) warned that  a 100 basis point rate rise would slash $1.2 trillion of value from the Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index, with further losses once junk bonds, fixed-rate mortgages, and derivatives are included. It said losses could dwarf the “bond massacre” that bankrupted Orange County California in 1994 — and detonated Mexico's Tequila Crisis.

The global fall-out from such a shock could be violent. Credit in dollars beyond US jurisdiction has risen fivefold in 15 years to over $10 trillion. “This is a very big number. As soon as the world gets into trouble, a lot of people are going to have trouble servicing that dollar debt,” said Professor White. The offshore dollar funding markets would dry up, triggering a liquidity squeeze. Borrowers would suffer the double shock of a rising dollar, and rising rates.


The world financial system is dangerously stretched, a former BIS chief economist has warned.
The world financial system is dangerously stretched, a former BIS chief economist has warned.

The OFR report makes unsettling reading. “The cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio of the S&P 500 is at its 97th percentile relative to the last 130 years,” it said. Margin debt on Wall Street has risen to an all-time high, as has the share of risky bonds with minimal protection. So-called ‘covenant-lite’ contracts are now running at 51 percent of all issuance. The top decile of macro hedge funds has raised leverage to 15 times, accounting for $800bn in gross assets.

While banks now have high capital buffers, the risk has migrated elsewhere: to investment funds concentrated in crowded trades. The share of equities traded in “dark pools” outside the exchanges has mushroomed to 33 percent. “A lack of market liquidity may lead to fire-sale risk, a downward price spiral,” it said.

One worry is what will happen to ‘risk parity’ funds when the inflation cycle turns. RBI Capital warned in its investor letter that these funds could lead to a “liquidity crash”. Deutsche Bank has advised clients to take out June 2018 ‘put’ options on the S&P 500 — a hedge against a market slide — arguing that the rally looks stretched and that risk parity funds will amplify any correction.

These funds manage risk by matching bonds and equities through dynamic weighting. The strategy worked marvelously during the ‘Goldilocks’ phase of low inflation and rising stock markets. Both wings of the trade did well. The danger is that both could go wrong at the same, setting off a vicious cycle in the opposite direction.

Funds have doubled-down on the trade with leveraged bets on Treasuries to boost returns. “A breakdown of this strategy poses the greatest threat to the overall market,” says Peter Tchir from Brean Capital. In a sense, risk parity funds may be today's equivalent of the ‘portfolio insurance’ that accelerated the crash in October 1987.

Whether the inflation cycle is really turning, and how fast, is the elemental question of this bull market. What is clear is that the US has closed the output gap and is hitting capacity constraints. The New York Fed's underlying inflation gauge rose to a 12-year high near 3 percent in December.

The great disinflation of the last three decades was essentially a global ‘supply shock’. The opening-up of China and the fall of the Berlin Wall added 800 million workers to the traded economy and labour pool, depressing wages and unleashing a tsunami of cheap goods. The ‘Amazon effect’ of digital technology capped price rises. The demographics of the baby boom era played its part by boosting the global savings glut.


The US Federal Reserve is reversing bond purchases.
The US Federal Reserve is reversing bond purchases.

But there was another feature that is often neglected. Central banks intervened “asymmetrically” with each cycle, letting booms run but stepping in with stimulus to cushion busts. The BIS says one result was to keep insolvent ‘zombie’ companies alive and block the Schumpeterian process of creative destruction that leads to rising productivity. This artificially stopped supply returning to balance. It has been a cause of the deflationary malaise.     

“Everything could now go into reverse: the baby boomers are gone; China's working age population is falling; and zombie companies are going to be forced out of business at last as borrowing costs rise,” White said.

While higher inflation is needed in one sense to right the global ship — since it lifts nominal GDP faster, and whittles down the debt stock — the obvious danger is that the shock of higher rates will hit first. Debt dynamics could spin out of control. Japan and Italy are in the firing line. The US has more margin but is being cavalier with fiscal expansion a l'outrance and no reform of its entitlement programmes.

“This raises the danger of ‘fiscal dominance’. The moment that markets start to fear this happening, it becomes totally self-fulfilling. They won't lend to governments and the whole thing basically implodes,” he said.

Central banks are now caught in a ‘debt trap’. They cannot keep holding rates near zero as global inflation pressures build because that will lead to an even more perilous financial bubble, but they cannot easily raise rates either because it risks blowing up the system. “It is franky scary,” he said.

The BIS critique is that ever-lower rates and more radical stimulus at the bottom of each successive cycle has itself had the complex effect of lowering the ‘Wicksellian’ natural rate of interest. Prosperity has been drawn from the future and led to a corrosive ‘intertemporal’ imbalance. In the end this catches up with you.

The authorities may not yet have reached the end of the road but this strategy is clearly pregnant with danger. Global finance has become so sensitive to monetary policy that central banks risk triggering a downturn long before they have built up the safety buffer of 400 to 500 basis points in interest rate cuts needed to fight recessions. Fiscal buffers are not exhausted but they are ever thinner.

“We are running out of ammunition. I am afraid that at some point this is going to be resolved with a lot of debt defaults. And what did we do with the demographic dividend? We wasted it,” he said.


__________________________________________________________________________

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reported from Davos, Switzerland.

• Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is International Business Editor of The Daily Telegraph. He has covered world politics and economics for 30 years, based in Europe, the US, and Latin America. He joined the Telegraph in 1991, serving as Washington correspondent and later Europe correspondent in Brussels.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • China promises bank rescue in next crisis as market prophets warn on rising US rates


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/01/22/world-finance-now-dangerous-2008-warns-central-bank-guru
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2018, 05:44:38 am »

The banks have ripped off all of us for years i trust them about as much as i trust the people who said hillary would win the elections

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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2018, 12:41:17 pm »


from The New York Times....

Trump to Impose Sweeping Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

The president said he would sign the measure next week. Stock markets,
foreign officials and Republicans were rattled by the news.


By ANA SWANSON | Thursday, March 01, 2018

A steel furnace in Germany. At a White House meeting on Thursday, President Trump said that he did not want any nation to be exempted from the order. — Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images.
A steel furnace in Germany. At a White House meeting on Thursday, President Trump said that he did not want any nation to be exempted from the order.
 — Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images.


WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Thursday that he would impose stiff tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, making good on a key campaign promise and rattling stock markets as the prospect of a global trade fight appeared imminent.

In a hastily arranged meeting with industry executives that stunned many inside the West Wing, Mr. Trump said he would formally sign the trade measures next week and promised they would be in effect “for a long period of time.” The action, which came against the wishes of Mr. Trump's pro-trade advisers, would impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, effectively placing a tax on every foreign shipment of those metals into the United States.

The president told more than a dozen executives that he wanted the tariffs to apply to all countries, one executive in attendance said. Mr. Trump argued that if one country was exempt, all other countries would line up to ask for similar treatment, and that metals could end up being shipped to the United States through exempted countries.

Mr. Trump's authority to impose such sweeping tariffs stems from a Commerce Department investigation that concluded last month that imported metal threatened national security by degrading the American industrial base. The administration has said it wants to combat cheap metals flooding into the United States, particularly from China, but a broad set of tariffs would fall most heavily on allies, especially Canada, which supplies steel and aluminum to American companies as well as the military.

“People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries,” Mr. Trump said on Thursday. “They've destroyed the steel industry, they've destroyed the aluminum industry, and other industries, frankly.”

“We're bringing it all back,” he added.

On Friday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted that a trade war would be a positive development in the context of the United States' current position with its trading partners.




Stocks fell in response to the potential tariffs, with declines in the industrial sector outpacing the overall market. The Standard & Poor's 500 industrial sector was down 1.9 percent, compared with a decline of about 1.3 percent in the overall benchmark index. Shares of American automakers, all large consumers of steel and aluminum, declined, as did shares of Boeing, a large exporter that could be hurt if other nations retaliate against United States tariffs.

Mr. Trump's announcement came despite months of heavy pushback from American companies that use metals in their products, like automakers and food packagers, and foreign officials, who warned that tariffs would strain relations and could prompt retaliatory trade actions. It also elicited a swift and severe response from Republican lawmakers, who said the action would ultimately hurt American companies, workers, consumers and the economy.

The announcement capped a frenetic and chaotic morning as Mr. Trump summoned more than a dozen executives from the steel and aluminum industry to the White House, raising expectations that he would announce his long-promised tariffs.

Mr. Trump raised the specter of action with an early morning Twitter post, saying: “Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer.”

Yet the legal review of the trade measure had not been completed and, as of Thursday morning, White House advisers were still discussing various outcomes for tariff levels and which countries could be included, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Just an hour before Mr. Trump made his remarks, a White House spokeswoman said that no announcement was expected that morning.

Advisers have been bitterly divided over how to proceed on the tariffs, including whether to impose them broadly on all steel and aluminum imports, which would ensnare allies like the European Union and Canada, or whether to tailor them more narrowly to target specific countries.

Imposing tough sanctions would fulfill the president's promises but could tip off trade wars around the world as other countries seek to retaliate against the United States. Foreign governments, multinational companies and the Pentagon have continued to push against broad tariffs, arguing that the measures could disrupt economic and security ties.

Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico and South Korea were the largest suppliers of steel to the United States in 2017, while Canada, Russia and the United Arab Emirates shipped the largest share of aluminum imports in 2016.




On Thursday, Canada, the European Union and other countries said they might have no choice but to retaliate in response.

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, called the measure “blatant intervention to protect U.S. domestic industry” and said the European Union had been a close security ally of the United States for decades.

“We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk,” Mr. Juncker said.

Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian minister of foreign affairs, called any measure that deemed Canadian trade a national security threat “entirely inappropriate.”

“Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum products, Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers,” she said.

That is the exact situation Mr. Trump's pro-trade advisers have long feared and worked to prevent. Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, had been lobbying for months alongside others, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Rob Porter, the staff secretary who recently resigned under pressure from the White House, to kill, postpone or at least narrow the scope of the measures, people familiar with the discussions said.

But in recent weeks, a group of White House advisers who advocate a tougher posture on trade has been in ascendance, including Robert E. Lighthizer, the country's top trade negotiator and a former steel industry lawyer; Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary who led the metals investigation; and Peter Navarro, a trade skeptic who had been sidelined but is now in line for a promotion.

Mr. Cohn threatened to resign if the White House followed through with stiff and sweeping tariffs, according to people who have spoken with him in recent days.

The departure of Mr. Porter, who organized weekly trade policy meetings and coordinated the trade advisers, has helped fuel a chaotic situation that has descended into an all-out war among various trade advisers, people close to the White House said.

The White House has been on the brink of announcing steel and aluminum tariffs several times in the past eight months, including in June. In recent days, the president appears to have grown impatient for action.

Supporters of the tariffs have begun broadcasting televised ads in recent days during programs that Mr. Trump has been known to watch. One such ad ran on Fox News minutes before the president's Twitter post on Thursday morning.

But the tariffs have divided industries, workers and policymakers. American manufacturers of steel and aluminum pressed the White House to take action against cheap imports, which they say hurt their ability to compete. Companies that use steel and aluminum in their products say tariffs would raise their costs, eating into profits or forcing them to raise prices or lay off workers.

Scott N. Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which represents steel companies and workers, said the president made “an encouraging show of support” on Thursday morning but now needed to act.

“The president's enforcement action must be broad, robust and comprehensive,” Mr. Paul said.

Republican lawmakers blasted the announcement, underlining how far Mr. Trump has strayed from the party's traditional orthodoxy of embracing free and open markets. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, called tariffs “a tax hike the American people don't need and can't afford.”

“Let's be clear: The president is proposing a massive tax increase on American families,” said Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska. “You'd expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one.”

But Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, defended the president, calling the announcement a “long overdue” action for steelworkers in his state.

The prospect of tariffs seemed likely to incite a period of fierce lobbying by foreign governments and multinational companies who will argue that their products should be exempted from any sanctions. It could also result in protracted fight at the World Trade Organization.

The World Trade Organization provides substantial leeway for countries to pursue trade measures in their national security interest, but few countries have tested those permissions.

Jennifer A. Hillman, a professor at Georgetown Law, said she expected countries to bring challenges and that the outcome could be negative, whether the United States wins or loses.

A ruling against the United States might feed an opinion already popular in the Trump administration that global trade rules compromise American sovereignty, and provide a reason to potentially withdraw from the organization.

Even a ruling in Washington's favor could prompt others to follow the United States in using national security concerns to justify a vast array of measures to shut off their own markets from American products.

“Arguably every other country in the world can do the same thing,” Ms. Hillman said. “You've really now walked away from a rules-based trading system.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Matt Phillips contributed reporting to this story from New York.

• Ana Swanson writes about trade and international economics for The New York Times. She previously covered trade, the Federal Reserve and the economy for The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Trump Administration Proposes Stiff Penalties on Steel and Aluminum Imports

 • Trump Trade Measures Set Off a Global Legal Pushback


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/01/business/trump-tariffs.html
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2018, 01:05:33 pm »


from The New York Times....

Trump Calls Trade Wars ‘Good’ and ‘Easy to Win’

In a series of early-morning tweets, the president defended
his decision to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum.


By ANA SWANSON | Friday, March 02, 2018

A steel production site in Germany. The European Union, Germany, Canada and other nations have threatened retaliation since President Trump announced plans for tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. — Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A steel production site in Germany. The European Union, Germany, Canada and other nations have threatened retaliation since President Trump
announced plans for tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. — Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


A DAY after stunning markets, Republican lawmakers and even his own advisers by announcing stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, President Trump doubled down on his approach on Friday, saying in an early morning tweet that “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

Mr. Trump appeared eager to defend his decision to levy sweeping tariffs on all imports of those metals, issuing a series of morning tweets explaining the need for tariffs. “Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON'T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON'T HAVE A COUNTRY!” he said in one tweet.

Markets fell in response to Mr. Trump's announcement on Thursday that he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, effectively placing a tax on every foreign shipment of those metals into the United States. Mr. Trump, at a hastily arranged meeting with industry executives on Thursday, said he would formally sign the trade measures next week and promised they would be in effect “for a long period of time.”

On Friday, he wrote that the measures would help to reduce the trade deficit, which is the gap between what the United States exports to other countries and what it imports. Mr. Trump has long lambasted the trade deficit as a sign of United States weakness.

“When a country Taxes our products coming in at, say, 50%, and we Tax the same product coming into our country at ZERO, not fair or smart. We will soon be starting RECIPROCAL TAXES so that we will charge the same thing as they charge us. $800 Billion Trade Deficit-have no choice,” he wrote.

Steel and aluminum companies and their workers greeted the measure as a much-needed salve for their industries. But the doubling down is only likely to further inflame tensions with other nations, which are already indicating they may take reciprocal measures and place taxes on United States exports.

The European Union, Germany, Canada and other nations have threatened retaliation, and denunciations flowed in on Friday from governments, lawmakers, metals makers and labor unions.

Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said on Friday that the government “rejects” the tariffs, adding that such measures could lead to a global trade war, which “can't be in anyone's interest.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Ana Swanson writes about trade and international economics for The New York Times. She previously covered trade, the Federal Reserve and the economy for The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Trump's Tariffs Prompt Global Threats of Retaliation

 • E.U. Leader Threatens to Retaliate With Tariffs on Bourbon and Bluejeans

 • Trump's Steel Tariffs Raise Fears of a Damaging Trade War

 • New York Times Editorial: Trade Wars Are Destructive. Of Course Trump Wants One.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/02/business/trump-calls-trade-wars-good-and-easy-to-win.html
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2018, 07:57:44 pm »


I love this. While Trump is being a dick and Europe & Canada are planning retaliation, China is being very adult and mature about it.

What this means is that Trump will come out of it looking like the arsehole he is, whereas China will look like the mature elder-statesman country.

And China should be able to turn that into influential gold at various world forums, while Trump's America looks like an idiot pariah state.

Yep....while Nero Trump fiddles, Rome America burns.




from The Washington Post....

China grumbles at Trump's tariff move,
but Europe takes aim at Harleys and bourbon


Beijing expects little impact from duties on steel and aluminum and is unlikely to
start a trade war, experts said. But the E.U. plans to hit the U.S. with tariffs its own.


By SIMON DENYER and RICK NOACK | 2:40PM EST — Friday, March 02, 2018

A Chinese worker cuts steel in Qingdao in China's Shandong province. China has reacted with measured disapproval to President Donald J. Trump's plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A Chinese worker cuts steel in Qingdao in China's Shandong province. China has reacted with measured disapproval to President Donald J. Trump's plan
to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


BEIJING — China reacted with cautious criticism Friday to President Trump's plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, urging the United States to abide by multilateral trade rules and do nothing to damage the fragile global economic recovery.

In Europe, however, Thursday's announcement triggered a sharp backlash, including threats of retaliation.

“We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans — Levi's,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, according to the Reuters news service. “We cannot simply put our head in the sand.”

China is the world's dominant steel producer, but experts said the tariff plan would not greatly affect it because the country accounts for only 2 percent of U.S. imports. Beijing is not about to start a trade war over the decision, they added, framing it as self-defeating.

“What an extremely stupid move,” said Li Xinchuang, vice secretary general of the China Iron and Steel Association. “A desperate attempt by Trump to pander to his voters, which I think in fact runs counter to his ‘America First’ pledge.”

Li, who is also director of the China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute, said the tariffs would only make U.S. industries fall further behind globally at a time when “China is in its prime.”

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday that world trade would be harmed if other countries follow the U.S. example. “The basis for the global recovery is still unstable,” she said. “All countries should make concerted efforts to cooperate to resolve the relevant issues, instead of taking trade-restrictive measures unilaterally.”

It is not clear whether the tariffs would affect only certain countries or apply globally.

The tariff proposal met with more outrage in Europe, particularly in Germany, where Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called it “unfathomable.”

“With this, the declaration of war has arrived,” said Bernd Lange, a German Social Democrat and head of the European Parliament's trade committee, speaking on German public radio. “They have a mercantile trade model in their heads that dates back 200 years.”

Although Germany exports more steel to the United States than any other European country, last year it accounted for just 3 percent of U.S. steel imports, through September. Far more originated in Canada, South Korea and Mexico, countries that also have raised major concerns about the policy.

But many European officials see the tariffs as part of broader fears they have about Trump's “America First” agenda, given the bloc's long-standing reliance on U.S. partnership. Lange and others also worry that the tariffs could be expanded to other fields, such as computers.

“It's a bottomless pit,” he said.

France also condemned the move. In a strong statement on Friday, Bruno Le Maire, France's economy minister, said that if a trade war ensues between the United States and the European Union, there will be “only losers.”

Top British government officials had no immediate public comment, but a senior representative of Britain's steel industry warned that the tariffs could have a “significant impact.”

“Measures such as these smack of short-termism, protectionism, and would be rife with unintended consequences for global trade and for the users of steel in the U.S.,” said Richard Warren, head of policy at U.K. Steel.

The possibility of global trade frictions unsettled markets on Friday, with Asian and European stocks following their U.S. counterparts lower. “Tariffs on steel and aluminum are not the end of the world,” said Richard Jerram, chief economist at the Bank of Singapore. “The risk is escalation. How aggressively China reacts and America's response to that will worry the markets.”

Later on Friday, Reuters reported that the European Union is considering imposing duties on U.S. imports worth about $3.5 billion if the White House pursues its plan. An E.U. official confirmed the report, saying, “This is broadly the figure we are looking at.” The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Trump's move is also expected to trigger legal challenges at the World Trade Organization by China, the European Union, Brazil and perhaps others. Wei Jianguo, a former Chinese vice minister of commerce, said the U.S. decision runs counter to WTO rules and hurts Sino-U.S. relations.

“China does not want to see a trade war with the United States. But if Trump insists, China is not afraid of it,” Wei said, noting that China imports a huge amount of U.S. goods, including Boeing planes, and agricultural and IT products.

But most analysts said the move is more of an irritant to China than anything serious at this stage.

Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at Industrial Bank in Shanghai, said China had already been working to cut overcapacity in its steel industry. Anti-dumping duties imposed on China by the Obama administration two years ago also had helped cut U.S. imports, experts said. Last year, China's steel exports fell 30 percent, and Lu said Trump's move came too late to make much of a difference.

Still, Beijing is not insensitive to the symbolism of the decision, aware that Trump's rhetoric has targeted it and wary of further measures to restrict trade and investment, experts said.

“China has to respond and fight for every inch of its own interests,” Lu said. “However, the result we are expecting is negotiation between both sides.”

The Trump administration is investigating China over intellectual property rights and technology-transfer policies and is expected to unveil more tariffs or penalties in coming months. Congress is also likely to strengthen and broaden controls on Chinese investment in the United States.

Andrew Polk, a founder of the Trivium consultancy in Beijing, said China's response to the tariffs probably would be more rhetorical than real. He predicted a similar reaction to the one that followed Trump's decision to slap tariffs on solar panels: “We don't like this, but we're going to downplay it and not really do anything.”

Trump's announcement came as President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser, Liu He, was in Washington trying to ease trade tensions. Hua, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said the envoy had held “constructive consultations” with U.S. officials on Thursday and shared a candid exchange of views.

Rob Carnell, head of Asia-Pacific research at ING in Singapore, said China might join or hide behind other nations and trading blocs — such as Canada, the European Union, Japan and South Korea — in retaliating against the U.S. move. Taiwan and Brazil are also among those affected by the measure.

Working through the WTO could take a long time, he said, making “tit-for-tat retaliation” more likely. That would not be good news for the global economy, he said.

But ironically, it might not be bad news for China. Many will now wonder whether the United States is not a greater threat to the world trading system, said Arthur Kroeber, managing director of the Beijing-based research firm Gavekal Dragonomics.

“China can afford to play it pretty cool and measured, as they have been doing ever since Trump took office,” Kroeber said. “They take a small, really negligible, hit to their steel and aluminum exports, but strategically they come out way ahead by just letting Trump be Trump.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Rick Noack reported from Berlin. Luna Lin, Shirley Feng, Amber Ziye Wang and Liu Yang in Beijing, James McAuley in Paris and Quentin Aričs in Brussels contributed to this report.

• Simon Denyer is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Beijing. He previously worked as The Post's bureau chief in New Delhi; a Reuters bureau chief in Washington, New Delhi and Islamabad, Pakistan; and a Reuters correspondent in Nairobi, New York and London.

• Rick Noack is a foreign affairs reporter for The Washington Post based in Berlin. Previously, he worked for The Post from Washington as an Arthur F. Burns Fellow and from London.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump announces tariffs on steel and aluminum

 • VIDEO: Steel tariffs explained using Reddi-wip whipped cream

 • Trump insists ‘trade wars are good, and easy to win’, after vowing steel tariffs

 • ‘Every day is a new adventure’: Trump up-ends Washington and Wall Street with shifts on trade, guns

 • Trump gets his tariffs — and much of the world plans to strike back


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/china-steel-slams-trumps-stupid-protectionism-but-trade-war-is-unlikely/2018/03/02/33ec5274-1d94-11e8-98f5-ceecfa8741b6_story.html
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2018, 09:02:42 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Trump escalates trade war, threatens European carmakers with stiff tariffs

Trump appeared to be responding to warnings from European leaders that his
promised tariffs would trigger retaliation from numerous major trading partners.


By DAMIAN PALETTA and JOSH DAWSEY | 1:32PM EST — Saturday, March 03, 2018

President Trump on March 1st announced tariffs on steel and aluminum. “Without steel and aluminum, your country is not the same,” Trump said. — Photograph: The Washington Post.
President Trump on March 1st announced tariffs on steel and aluminum. “Without steel and aluminum, your country is not the same,” Trump said.
 — Photograph: The Washington Post.


PRESIDENT TRUMP on Saturday threatened to hammer European automotive companies with steep tariffs as his global trade war snowballed into a third day.

Trump, in a series of Twitter posts while at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, appeared to be responding to warnings from European leaders that his promised tariffs on aluminum and steel would trigger retaliation from numerous major U.S. trading partners.

Bring it on, Trump wrote.




The United States imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on the import of foreign cars and a 25 percent tariff on the import of foreign trucks and commercial vans. The European Union charges a 10 percent tariff on the import of cars.

On Thursday, Trump shocked the world — and many of his top advisers — with an off-the-cuff announcement that the United States would impose a tariff of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports. Canada's leadership said they would retaliate with tariffs on U.S. exports. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said his bloc planned to hit back at the U.S. by imposing tariffs on targeting Kentucky bourbon, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and Levi's blue jeans.

On Friday, Trump wrote in another Twitter post that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” He also promised to enact what he called “RECIPROCAL TAXES” on any country that has a tariff against any U.S. good or service.

Trump's message on Saturday continued to levy direct attacks at U.S. allies and some of the world's largest economies. The tariffs on aluminum and steel and large tariffs on European automakers would have the biggest impact on Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Turkey, and Japan, countries with which the United States has extremely close national security ties.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump often said he planned to use the White House to focus squarely on what he viewed as trade imbalances caused by China and Mexico, but the moves he's threatened in the past week would likely have little impact on them. China has dramatically ramped up production of aluminum and steel in the past 20 years, leading to a glut of both metals that have hurt U.S. companies. But they don't account for a large share of U.S. imports in these metals, making it more difficult for the White House to impose direct penalties. Instead, the largest exporters of steel to the U.S. are Canada, Germany, South Korea, and other top allies.

On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the tariff proposal “absolutely unacceptable,” using the same phrase as Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who also threatened retaliatory measures if Canada isn't exempted from the trade actions.

Trump's new attack on European automakers is mostly a direct threat at Germany, which exported $23 billion in cars to the United States in 2016, according to data aggregated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But large German automakers also have a sizable presence in the United States, with BMW employing thousands of workers in South Carolina and Volkswagen employing thousands more in Tennessee. Those manufacturers produce hundreds of thousands of cars in the United States each year, many of which are later exported to buyers in Asia and Europe.

Trump often looks at trade relationships as a zero-sum game, complaining if the United States buys more goods and services from other countries than it sells to them. To that end, U.S. firms sold $53 billion in exports and imported $118 billion in goods from Germany last year, the kind of dynamic that he has often complained about.

But critics of Trump's approach have often complained that tariffs and trade wars only drive up costs for domestic consumers, a move that would make German cars more expensive in the United States. Trump also has said these sorts of threats could incentivize foreign companies to expand their U.S. operations so they don't have to pay the import fees.

Trump has been hammering the German auto industry since before taking office, incensed at their move to expand production in Mexico and threatening them with a 35 percent tariff on any cars brought into the United States.

One of Trump's top advisers, Peter Navarro, also holds the view that German automakers have stolen market share in the United States by importing cars but limiting the amount of U.S. cars sold into their country, two people involved in White House deliberations said. Navarro's stature within the White House has grown in recent weeks as Trump has turned toward advisers with protectionist views as he became frustrated that his trade agenda was foundering.

German officials have spent much of the past year trying to convince U.S. policymakers that they have a healthy trade relationship in the United States that benefits both countries. But Trump has a frosty relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and these personal relationships can spill into policy decisions at the White House.

White House officials have even discussed launching what's known as a “301 investigation” into German automakers, a step that could precede levying tariffs or other restrictions, a person familiar with discussions said.


__________________________________________________________________________

Alan Freeman contributed to this report.

• Damian Paletta is White House economic policy reporter for The Washington Post. Before joining The Post, he covered the White House for The Wall Street Journal.

• Josh Dawsey is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. He joined the paper in 2017. He previously covered the White House for Politico, and New York City Hall and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for The Wall Street Journal.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump announces tariffs on steel and aluinum

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/03/03/trump-escalates-trade-war-threatens-european-carmakers-with-stiff-tariffs
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2018, 10:15:46 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Trump vows to strike back at European leaders
who warned of retaliation for his tariffs


Canada and Germany are among countries to speak out against Trump's proposals for aluminum and steel.

By STEVEN MUFSON and DAMIAN PALETTA | 8:25PM EST — Saturday, March 03, 2018

President Donald J. Trump speaks during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in Washington. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.
President Donald J. Trump speaks during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in Washington. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.

IN HIS expanding war over global trade, President Trump has aimed his harshest rhetoric at an unlikely target — the closest U.S. allies.

In Twitter posts while at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Saturday, Trump vowed to strike back at European leaders who said they would retaliate for his promised tariffs on aluminum and steel.

Bring it on, Trump warned.

“If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S. They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!” he tweeted.

The country that escaped Trump's tweeting ire was China, the very nation the president has wanted to hit hardest and the one that is largely responsible for flooding global markets with cheap steel. In return, China, which provides just 2 percent of U.S. steel imports, has been the most muted among leading trading partners in its response to Trump's tariff threats, calling them misguided but not threatening a response.

Instead, the biggest burden of Trump's new tariffs — 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum — would be borne by Canada, the largest trading partner with the United States.

Canada is the largest exporter of steel and aluminum to the United States, supplying $7.2 billion of aluminum and $4.3 billion of steel to the United States last year. Yet in goods and services, the United States runs a trade surplus with Canada, which buys $48 billion worth of U.S. automobiles and $40 billion of machinery, in addition to agricultural products.

The steel and aluminum tariffs would also hit the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Turkey and Japan, countries with which the United States has extremely close national security ties.

“The president is going to quickly find out that you can't start a trade war with your allies and expect them to work with you on other issues,” said Jamie Fly, senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund. “The administration is squandering the little credibility they had with transatlantic partners at a time when they're asking them to help fix the Iran deal, fight terrorism and increase defense spending. It will not work.”

And while Trump has promoted his new tariffs as part of an “America First” plan, any benefit in terms of jobs could be far outweighed by increased steel costs for U.S. automobiles, wind turbines, shale oil and gas drilling rigs and more — in many cases doing unintended harm to some of his own strongest domestic constituencies.

Trump's tariffs “are inconsistent with the Administration's goal of continuing the energy renaissance and building world class infrastructure,” American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said in a statement. “The U.S. oil and natural gas industry, in particular, relies on specialty steel for many of its projects that most U.S. steelmakers don't supply.”

Trade experts say the president has exaggerated and oversimplified the trade issues with Europe.

The United States already imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on the import of foreign cars and a 25 percent tariff on the import of foreign trucks and commercial vans. The European Union charges a 10 percent tariff on the import of U.S. cars.

The new tariffs and the president's truculent rhetoric triggered angry responses among the countries that are closest to the United States and that are part of the World Trade Organization, which has for years helped reduce global tariffs.

“Allies should not be treated as scape goats, Mr. President,” wrote a German member of the European Parliament, Reinhard Bütikofer, on Twitter. “Or is it your goal to make America lonely?”

Trump's new attack on European automakers is mostly a direct threat at Germany, which exported $23 billion in cars to the United States in 2016, according to data aggregated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But large German automakers also have a sizable presence in the United States, with BMW employing thousands of workers in South Carolina and Volkswagen employing thousands more in Tennessee. Those manufacturers produce hundreds of thousands of cars in the United States each year, many of which are later exported to buyers in Asia and Europe.

Some European lawmakers appeared frustrated that Trump was targeting automakers that have large U.S. manufacturing operations.

“The EU will be forced to respond to US protectionism, but does not want tradewar!” wrote a Dutch member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake, on Twitter. “By the way, German carmakers alone made [845,000] cars in the US in 2016, the bulk (around 2/3) for export. The world is interconnected, not zero-sum.”

Canada's leaders have said they would retaliate with tariffs on U.S. exports. On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Trump's move “absolutely unacceptable,” using the same phrase as Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who also threatened retaliatory measures if Canada isn't exempted from the trade actions.

Likewise, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said his bloc planned to hit back at the United States by imposing tariffs targeting U.S. products such as bourbon from Kentucky — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's home state — and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, which are partly manufactured in House Speaker Paul D. Ryan's home state, Wisconsin.

On Friday, Trump wrote in another Twitter post that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” He also promised to enact what he called “RECIPROCAL TAXES” on any country that has a tariff against any U.S. good or service.

Trump has been cheered on by some union leaders and a few close advisers within the White House. They believe U.S. policy has been too complacent for decades and allowed foreign countries to steal away U.S. jobs through unfair government subsidies and unbalanced tariff rules. Even if Trump's approach shatters the status quo, they believe it is necessary.

“This whole idea that there’s a big downstream effect — it's just part of the fake news that's going to be put out to oppose these tariffs,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox Business on Friday. “A penny for a six pack of beer — that's worth it to put Americans back to work in two industries that we need.”

Trump has been particularly critical of situations in which the United States buys more goods and services from other countries than it sells to them. To that end, U.S. firms sold $53 billion in exports and imported $118 billion in goods from Germany last year, the kind of dynamic that he has often complained about.

Still, the tariffs on steel and aluminum Trump unveiled last week are not crafted in a way that would target China, which last year sold $375 billion more goods and services in the United States than what it had ordered, according to the Commerce Department.

Chinese officials initially reacted to Trump's tariff threats with strong language.

“What an extremely stupid move,” Li Xinchuang, vice secretary general of the China Iron and Steel Association, said on Friday. “A desperate attempt by Trump to pander to his voters, which I think in fact runs counter to his ‘America First’ pledge.”

But beyond such rhetoric, Beijing has not threatened specific ways it would retaliate. And the overall tone has been more muted, analysts said. That may be because China exports so little steel and aluminum directly to the United States.

In contrast, Jean Simard, president of the Aluminum Association of Canada, said that his industry has been integrated into the U.S. economy for more than 50 years and that the Pentagon considers Canadian aluminum production a strategic military supply.

Simard said nine of 15 U.S. aluminum smelters have closed in the past four years, but he blames their demise on a surge in Chinese production and the fact that they face high power costs and have never been modernized.

Through access to cheap capital and electricity, and a soaring domestic construction boom, China's aluminum and steelmakers have grown sharply. China's steelmakers have gone from producing 15 percent of the world's crude steel in 2000 to producing 50 percent in 2016, according to the World Steel Association. China produces eight times as much as the second biggest producer, Japan. (The United States ranks fourth.)

Critics of Trump's approach have often complained that tariffs and trade wars only drive up costs for domestic consumers, a move that would make German cars more expensive for U.S. consumers. Trump has also said these sorts of threats could incentivize foreign companies to expand their U.S. operations so they don't have to pay the import fees.

Trump has been hammering the German auto industry since before taking office, incensed at its move to expand production in Mexico and threatening a 35 percent tariff on any cars brought into the United States.

One of Trump's top advisers, Navarro, also holds the view that German automakers have stolen market share in the United States by importing cars but limiting the number of U.S. cars sold into their country, two people involved in White House deliberations said. Navarro's stature within the White House has grown in recent weeks as Trump has turned toward advisers with protectionist views as he became frustrated that his trade agenda was floundering.

German officials have spent much of the past year trying to convince U.S. policymakers that they have a healthy trade relationship with the United States that benefits both countries. But Trump has a frosty relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and these personal relationships can spill into policy decisions at the White House.

White House officials have even discussed launching what's known as a “301 investigation” into German automakers, a step that could preclude levying tariffs or other restrictions, a person familiar with discussions said.

“On trade policy, President Trump appears to be listening to advisers with views far outside mainstream economics,” said N. Gregory Mankiw, a Harvard economics professor who was chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. “I don't know any respected economist, conservative or liberal, who thinks this is the right approach to promoting prosperity.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Michael Birnbaum in Brussels, Simon Denyer in Beijing and Alan Freeman in Ottawa contributed to this report.

• Steven Mufson covers energy and other financial matters for The Washington Post. Since joining The Post, he has covered the White House, China, economic policy and diplomacy.

• Damian Paletta is White House economic policy reporter for The Washington Post. Before joining The Post, he covered the White House for The Wall Street Journal.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: New steel and aluminum tariffs set to start

 • Trump is so obsessed with winning that he might make America lose


http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-vows-to-strike-back-at-european-leaders-who-warned-of-retaliation-for-his-tariffs/2018/03/03/a7b96456-1f21-11e8-9de1-147dd2df3829_story.html
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2018, 11:25:45 am »



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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2018, 08:56:02 am »

so trump is protecting the american steel industry good on him

now get back to your wanking and stfu lol
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2018, 04:56:47 pm »


Guess what?

The U.S. steel industry has NEVER made many of the specialist steels used by many American weapons makers.

Hahaha.....looks like Trump is just making it more expensive for the U.S. military to procure many of their new weapons.

What a stupid dumbarse, eh?
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2018, 09:04:09 pm »

China should be banned from even making baked bean cans because their steel is shit hahahaha

yes ktj is a stupid dumbarse needs to learn a new word it's called research maybe ktj should read a book called internet research for dummies


here is a good reason for trump to support american steel because trump is very smart

Chinese steel fails strength test

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/80635517/Chinese-steel-fails-strength-test

Warning Chinese steel imports could be safety threat

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/11762086/Warning-Chinese-steel-imports-could-be-safety-threat.html

Safety concerns over fabricated Chinese steel flooding Australian market

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-17/safety-warning-over-fabricated-chinese-steel/6949506

Kobe Steel scandal hits Boeing, Toyota and Nissan

https://www.ft.com/content/a1e494c2-ad9f-11e7-beba-5521c713abf4
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2018, 02:30:53 pm »


Yes i think KTJ is dumber than a rock
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« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2018, 03:14:42 pm »



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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2018, 02:24:53 pm »


from The New York Times....

White House Unveils Tariffs on 1,300 Chinese Products

The Trump administration released a list of Chinese goods that it will subject to tariffs,
including electronics, iron and steel plates, engines and optical scanners.


By ANA SWANSON | Tuesday, April 03, 2018

A steel factory in Dalian, China. The Trump administration has placed tariffs on a number of items, including electronic touch screens, iron and steel plates, medical devices, aircraft parts, batteries and other Chinese products. — Photograph: China Network/Reuters.
A steel factory in Dalian, China. The Trump administration has placed tariffs on a number of items, including electronic touch screens,
iron and steel plates, medical devices, aircraft parts, batteries and other Chinese products. — Photograph: China Network/Reuters.


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said on Tuesday that it will place a 25 percent tariff on Chinese products like flat-screen televisions, medical devices, aircraft parts and batteries, outlining more than 1,300 imported goods that will soon face levies as part of a sweeping trade measure aimed at penalizing China for its trade practices.

The move, which stems from a White House investigation into China's use of pressure, intimidation and theft to obtain American technologies, is likely to inflame an already-simmering trade war between the countries. On Monday, China said it would slap tariffs on 128 American products in response to a separate White House plan to tax steel and aluminum from China and other countries.

The products targeted by the White House are part of its plan to go after China's dominance in cutting-edge technologies like semiconductors, electric vehicles and advanced medical products — industries that China is pursuing dominance in as part of an industrial plan known as “Made in China 2025”.

The Trump administration said that its analysts had identified products that benefit from these policies but refined the list to remove goods that were likely to cause disruptions to the United States economy or consumers.

The list of goods excludes many Chinese-made consumer products available for sale at Target or Walmart, including clothing, shoes and toys. But it will most likely increase costs for American manufacturers that depend on imported parts because it concentrates heavily on machinery and high-tech components. The tariffs will be imposed on a total of $50 billion worth of Chinese products each year.

The designation of targeted products will be followed by a comment period in which American companies can provide feedback to the Trump administration on the product choices. The administration will hold a public hearing on the submissions on May 15 in Washington, and companies will have until May 22 to file final objections.


The products targeted by the White House are part of an effort to go after China's dominance in cutting-edge technologies like semiconductors, electric vehicles and advanced medical products — industries that China is pursuing dominance in as part of an industrial plan known as “Made in China 2025”. — Photograph: Gilles Sabrié/Bloomberg.
The products targeted by the White House are part of an effort to go after China's dominance in cutting-edge technologies like semiconductors,
electric vehicles and advanced medical products — industries that China is pursuing dominance in as part of an industrial plan known as
“Made in China 2025”. — Photograph: Gilles Sabrié/Bloomberg.


Business groups, concerned about the effect on companies and workers, swiftly criticized the move.

“Unilaterally imposing $50 billion of new tariffs without a long-term strategy that leads to economic reforms in China will only hurt America's businesses, workers, and families,” the Business Roundtable, a corporate trade group, said in a statement. “Instead, the administration should work with U.S. allies on an approach that advances meaningful reform in China without imposing significant harm on America's economy.”

Jay Timmons, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers, said that American manufacturers were concerned about the trade relationship with China, including intellectual property theft, counterfeit goods and unfair subsidies, but also that tariffs were not the best response.

In a strongly worded statement on Tuesday, the Chinese Embassy in the United States condemned the tariffs. “Such unilateralistic and protectionist action has gravely violated fundamental principles and values of the W.T.O.,” the statement said. “It serves neither China's interest, nor U.S. interest, even less the interest of the global economy.”

The Chinese would resort to “measures of equal scale and strength against U.S. products in accordance with Chinese law,” the statement said.

While many American companies say they are unfairly treated in China, they have rued the possibility of a trade war between the world's two largest economies, and the economic harm it could cause, and have begun pushing back against the White House's plans. China remains a crucial and growing market for companies like John Deere and Apple, as well as for soybean farmers and growers of other agricultural products.


A Chinese state-owned steel plant last year in Hebei. Many of the trade measures that President Trump has proposed, including tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, have divided his own advisers, the business community and the Republican Party. — Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.
A Chinese state-owned steel plant last year in Hebei. Many of the trade measures that President Trump has proposed, including tariffs on foreign
steel and aluminum, have divided his own advisers, the business community and the Republican Party. — Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.


Financial markets fell sharply on Monday as China imposed its own retaliatory tariffs on American products but regained most of their lost territory on Tuesday.

President Trump, who has repeatedly promised tough action on China's trade practices, said on Tuesday that he intended to get along with China but that its unfair trade behavior had gone on too long. “It's not something we can live with,” Mr. Trump said at the White House, adding, “I campaigned on that.”

Trump advisers have criticized past administrations for allowing China to receive the benefits of global trade while continuing to break the international trade rules imposed by organizations like the World Trade Organization — a charge China denies.

But the administration has struggled to persuade its critics that the kind of tough trade measures Mr. Trump favors can alter China's behavior without tipping the world into a trade war and ultimately harming American workers and consumers. In addition to the tariffs, the White House is preparing to restrict Chinese investment in American technology and innovation, and to start a case against China at the World Trade Organization.

“The administration is rightly focused on restoring equity and fairness in our trade relationship with China,” said Myron Brilliant, an executive vice president and the head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “However, imposing taxes on products used daily by American consumers and job creators is not the way to achieve those ends.”

The Coalition for a Prosperous America, an organization that has supported the president's trade agenda, called the China action a shift from “naïve” to “strategic” trade. “The age of appeasement must end,” said Paola Masman, the group's media director.


On Monday, China imposed tariffs on more than 100 American products, including pork. The 25 percent tariff is expected to be particularly harmful among the Midwestern regions that supported Mr. Trump in 2016. Last year, American farmers sent more than a billion dollars' worth of pork to China. — Photograph: Credit Gerry Broome/Associated Press.
On Monday, China imposed tariffs on more than 100 American products, including pork. The 25 percent tariff is expected to be particularly
harmful among the Midwestern regions that supported Mr. Trump in 2016. Last year, American farmers sent more than a billion dollars'
worth of pork to China. — Photograph: Credit Gerry Broome/Associated Press.


But the administration's trade measures are prompting concern among many American companies, who are wary of Beijing's response.

The United States' largest exports to China last year were aircraft and aircraft parts, which totaled more than $16 billion, according to IHS Markit. These products featured heavily on Tuesday's list, setting off fears that China could retaliate with similar penalties against American plane maker Boeing.

Dan Stohr, a spokesman for the Aerospace Industries Association, said the group was still reviewing the tariff list but would almost certainly file comments with the administration.

Farming communities, one of the country's largest exporters and a solid base for Mr. Trump, are among the most vulnerable. Chinese tariffs of 25 percent will particularly hurt American pork farmers, who sent more than $1 billion worth of products to China last year.

Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, said American farmers were already struggling to make ends meet. “Increasing tariffs on exports will harm Iowa producers and undermine the rural economy,” Ms. Ernst said. “It's my hope that we can pursue policies that enhance our competitiveness, rather than reduce our access to foreign markets.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Natalie Kitroeff and Ben Casselman contributed reporting from New York, and Keith Bradsher from Shanghai.

• Ana Swanson writes about trade and international economics for The New York Times. She previously covered trade, the Federal Reserve and the economy for The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Looming China Trade Action Divides Industry and Roils Markets

 • Trade Deals Take Years. Trump Wants to Remake Them in Months.

 • Trump Readies Sweeping Tariffs and Investment Restrictions on China


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/03/us/politics/white-house-chinese-imports-tariffs.html
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2018, 08:17:20 pm »


from The New York Times....

China Strikes Back at the U.S. With Plans for Its Own Tariffs

The measures, targeting $50 billion worth of soybeans, cars and other goods,
were the latest move in the countries' escalating trade confrontation.


By KEITH BRADSHER and STEVEN LEE MYERS | Wednesday, April 04, 2018

China on Wednesday outlined plans to impose tariffs on soybeans and other American goods. — Photograph: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.
China on Wednesday outlined plans to impose tariffs on soybeans and other American goods. — Photograph: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.

SHANGHAI — China hit back at the United States on Wednesday with proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of American soybeans, cars, chemicals and other goods, in a move likely to stoke fears that the countries' escalating confrontation could become an all-out trade war.

Moving with unusual speed, Chinese officials outlined plans to make it more costly to import 106 types of American goods into China. They are intended to hit the United States square in the farm belt — a major section of President Trump's political support but also a major supplier of what China stocks in its supermarkets.

Beijing's plan to institute new tariffs was announced just hours after the Trump administration detailed its own protections on a similar value of Chinese-made aircraft parts, cars and car parts, televisions, steel and much more. Following a previous round of tit-for-tat tariffs unveiled over the past few days, the new measures have sparked concerns that the dispute could widen further, hurting jobs and growth in both countries.

Investors drove financial markets lower over the prospect that the two sides were not yet done fighting.

“China has never succumbed to external pressure,” Zhu Guangyao, vice minister of finance, said at a news briefing on Wednesday. He added, “External pressure will only make the Chinese people more focused on economic development.”

The question now is whether the two sides will intensify their efforts to punish each other before they sit down to negotiate. Neither set of tariffs go into effect right away, though the exact timing of the Chinese measures was not clear.

The dueling tariffs still do not impact the majority of trade between the two countries, which is valued at nearly $650 billion a year. Still, economists say that the clash could escalate quickly if the two sides fail to find a way to quickly resolve their differences, threatening a commercial relationship that is essential to the world economy.

Letting the dispute turn into a test of wills would be a mistake, said Jie Zhao, a senior research fellow at Fudan University in Shanghai.

“We should negotiate in a professional way,” Ms. Zhao said, “and make it less ideological and emotional.”

China's proposed new tariffs cover a significant chunk of what it buys from the United States. The protections on the $50 billion of goods announced on Wednesday, together with those on the $3 billion worth of products that Beijing unveiled earlier this week in retaliation for American tariffs on global steel imports, account for about a third of China's American imports.

By contrast, because the United States imports significantly more from China, tariffs on the same amount of products make up roughly one-ninth of its Chinese imports. That gives the United States more room to find other Chinese products to target.


A pig farm in Iowa in 2014. China will impose a 25 percent tariff on American pork, an important moneymaker, especially in farming regions in states that voted for President Trump. — Photograph: Daniel Acker/Reuters.
A pig farm in Iowa in 2014. China will impose a 25 percent tariff on American pork, an important moneymaker, especially in farming regions
in states that voted for President Trump. — Photograph: Daniel Acker/Reuters.


Even as Chinese officials struck a defiant tone on Wednesday, they still said they wanted to avoid escalating the conflict.

“China's attitude is clear,” Mr. Zhu, the vice minister of finance, said. “We don't want a trade war because a trade war would hurt the interests of both countries.”

China could still fight back in other ways. Its control over its domestic economy and news media, and its homegrown internet, give it a strong hand in controlling public opinion and minimizing the potential impact on its consumers. In the past, China has mobilized its vast ranks of consumers to turn up their noses at products from Japan, the Philippines and South Korea during political disputes, though getting Chinese consumers to stop buying iPhones and Chevrolets could be trickier.

The two sides are clashing with the future in mind. President Trump instituted his latest round of tariffs against China while citing Beijing's government-driven efforts to retool the country's economy to focus on the technologies of the future. Known as the “Made in China 2025” program, the plan specifies efforts to build up cutting-edge industries like robotics, aerospace and electric cars.

Many companies in Europe and the United States say they fear the program will create state-supported competitors, an argument that has won backing in the Trump administration. Some companies say that Beijing finds ways to force them to hand over technology if they want to sell their wares in China, an allegation that Chinese officials dispute.

China appears to show little interest in putting the “Made in China 2025” efforts on the negotiating table. A report in state-controlled media on Wednesday described the development of advanced manufacturing as “an inherent requirement for the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry, and it is also the only way for China's economy to enter a high-quality development stage.”

For now, China's new tariffs could create a more immediate issue for the Trump administration.

While they include plenty of goods Americans make, they have a heavy focus on products Americans grow: soybeans, corn, cotton, beef, frozen orange juice, even tobacco and whiskey. Many of those products come largely from Republican-dominated states, where lawmakers might be expected to have some influence with President Trump and could therefore persuade him to back down from his latest trade demands.

For manufactured goods, the new Chinese tariffs include cars and car parts, plastics, aerospace products and chemicals. Many of those products are also sold by European companies, giving Chinese buyers alternatives. The new tariffs announced on Wednesday will amount to 25 percent on the American products.

Chinese officials — who blamed President Trump for provoking the clash — have appealed to the World Trade Organization, which sets trade rules and moderates disputes, to resolve the feud. But both sides risk censure by the W.T.O. — the Trump administration for its tariffs, and China for swiftly retaliating without a proper review.

“A key time has come for the United States and China to form a new consensus that includes intellectual property and the opening up of markets,” said Song Guoyou, the deputy chief of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University. “Otherwise, trade may fluctuate a lot.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Keith Bradsher reported from Shanghai, and Steven Lee Myers from Beijing. Ailin Tang contributed research.

• Keith Bradsher is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Shanghai bureau chief for The New York Times, having reopened the Shanghai bureau on November 14th, 2016. He has previously served as the Hong Kong bureau chief and the Detroit bureau chief for The Times. Before those postings, he was a Washington correspondent for The Times covering the Federal Reserve and international trade, and a New York-based business reporter covering transportation and telecommunications for The Times. Born in 1964, Mr. Bradsher received a degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He received a master's degree in public policy with a concentration in economics from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Prior to joining The New York Times, Mr. Bradsher wrote for the Los Angeles Times from 1987 until 1989.

• Steven Lee Myers is a veteran diplomatic and national security correspondent, now based in the Beijing bureau. He joined The New York Times in 1989, and has previously worked as a correspondent in Moscow, Baghdad and Washington, where he covered the State Department, the Pentagon and the White House. He is the author of The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2015.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • White House Unveils Tariffs on 1,300 Chinese Products

 • China Slaps Tariffs on 128 U.S. Products, Including Wine, Pork and Pipes


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/04/business/china-us-tariffs.html
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2018, 08:19:44 pm »


A trade-war between America and China is an excellent idea.

Especially when Chinese retaliation trashes the jobs of stupid Trump-supporters in America, eh?




from The New York Times....

How U.S.-China Trade Spat Could Threaten Manufacturing

If the tariffs stand, along with China's retaliatory moves, they could damage
industries that have relied on a global supply chain for their recovery.


By NATALIE KITROEFF and BEN CASSELMAN | Wednesday, April 04, 2018

A Boeing 737 on the assembly line in Renton, Washington. Aircraft and their parts are the single largest American export to China, making Boeing a tempting target in a trade war. — Photograph: Credit Kevin P. Casey/Bloomberg.
A Boeing 737 on the assembly line in Renton, Washington. Aircraft and their parts are the single largest American export to China,
making Boeing a tempting target in a trade war. — Photograph: Credit Kevin P. Casey/Bloomberg.


IN THE escalating economic showdown between the United States and China, President Trump is trying to put American shoppers first. The administration did not place tariffs on necessities like shoes and clothes, and mostly spared smartphones from the 25 percent levy on Chinese goods announced this week.

But by shielding consumers, Mr. Trump has put American manufacturers — a group he has championed — in the cross hairs of a potential global trade war. If the measures stand, along with China's retaliatory tariffs, they could snuff out a manufacturing recovery just beginning to gain steam.

“If you want to spare the consumer so you don't get this massive backlash against your tariffs, then there goes manufacturing, because that's what's left,” said Monica de Bolle, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “The irony is, you cannot spare manufacturing from anything because manufacturing is globally integrated. The sector sources its parts and components from all over the world.”

That intricate supply chain often runs directly between the two countries, sometimes in both directions. Chinese factories make wing panels and doors for Boeing's Next Generation 737 planes, which are assembled by union workers in Renton, Washington. General Motors makes its Buick Envision, a sport-utility vehicle, in Shandong Province, and sells it to American consumers. Construction workers in Denver use building materials manufactured in China, made in part from ethane gas produced in Texas.

A central aim of Mr. Trump's America First agenda is to bring back pieces of the supply chain lying outside the country. The tariffs announced this week are just a bargaining point in a broader negotiation between the United States and China over trade.

“They are trying to force end-product manufacturers here to use more American content by making it more expensive for them to use Chinese content,” said William Reinsch, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


A man rides past shipping containers in Shanghai. President Trump's tariffs signal an end to a policy of seeking to integrate China's economy with the West. — Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters.
A man rides past shipping containers in Shanghai. President Trump's tariffs signal an end to a policy of seeking to integrate China's economy
with the West. — Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters.


The United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, has said that the administration carefully conceived the tariffs using an algorithm that would “maximize the impact on China and minimize the impact on U.S. consumers.”

The result is a list of more than 1,300 targets, many of them obscure products that may not deliver a direct hit to consumers' wallets. The victims include industrial robots, chemicals, medical devices and heavy machinery used in everything from processing food to crushing rock.

Such industries have been a vibrant piece of the economy, adding 224,000 jobs in the past year, the strongest growth since the recession ended nearly nine years ago. But underpinning that rebound has been a strong global appetite for American goods — demand that could now be weakened.

“This is a pretty tenuous recovery, and employment is still at much lower levels than it was before the crisis,” said Mark Muro, an economist at the Brookings Institution. “This is not a super dynamic, healthy industry.”

Recent job growth has been concentrated in industries that could be affected by American tariffs on China, Chinese tariffs on the United States, or both.


In Beijing last week a woman carried a shopping bag from Coach, the New York-based handbag maker. American businesses have flocked to China to tap its huge consumer market. — Photograph: European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.
In Beijing last week a woman carried a shopping bag from Coach, the New York-based handbag maker. American businesses have flocked to China
to tap its huge consumer market. — Photograph: European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.


Some of the strongest gains in the past year have come from makers of metal products, industrial machinery and transportation equipment. All those industries rely heavily on steel and aluminum, goods that Mr. Trump hit with tariffs earlier this year in a move aimed indirectly at China's production.

In the latest salvos, the United States took aim at a multitude of technical components — items like circuit breakers, consoles and touch screens. Those tariffs could raise costs for electronics manufacturers, who have been hiring more aggressively lately and whose supply chains run through China.

Beijing, for its part, zeroed in on an array of American products, including plastics, a fast-growing export. Chinese companies imported $3.2 billion worth of plastic resins from the United States in 2017, according to the American Chemistry Council, a trade group. Chinese factories turn those resins into building materials, automobile instrument panels, eyeglasses and thousands of other products, many of which end up back in the United States.

The plastics tariffs alone could send ripples deep into Trump country. In recent years, companies have announced billions of dollars of investments seeking to capitalize on the boom in American natural-gas production. Some of those investments were to go into new plants in Pennsylvania, Ohio and other states to turn gas into chemicals and plastics, much of it bound for China.

Companies aren't likely to abandon those plans overnight, said Calvin M. Dooley, president of the American Chemistry Council. But if the trade barriers persist, projects could be in jeopardy. “That is going to impede our ability to capitalize on that competitive advantage,” Mr. Dooley said.


Ford F-150 pickups on a Michigan assembly line in 2014. Decades of trade actions and reactions have shielded Detroit's automakers from foreign competition in light trucks. — Photograph: Credit Paul Sancya/Associated Press.
Ford F-150 pickups on a Michigan assembly line in 2014. Decades of trade actions and reactions have shielded Detroit's automakers
from foreign competition in light trucks. — Photograph: Credit Paul Sancya/Associated Press.


Even with the flurry of measures and countermeasures between the United States and China, the moves so far have touched only a fraction of their $650 billion in annual trade. But they are beginning to signal how much damage could be caused, and who would suffer most.

In some cases, the tariffs seem intended to deliver a message rather than a fatal blow. The United States said it would impose tariffs on aircraft parts — an important and high-profile American industry, but not one facing much competition from China. Beijing said it would impose tariffs on cars and S.U.V.s, the third-largest American export to the country. But the move may not hit American automakers as hard as it might seem.

China already has a 25 percent tariff on imported cars, so General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford have all agreed to manufacture inside the country as joint ventures with domestic producers, to avoid the extra charge to consumers. Foreign carmakers operating in the United States — Daimler and BMW — do send vehicles to China from factories in the Southeast. A report by analysts at Evercore ISI suggests that those companies, rather than the Detroit automakers, would bear the brunt of the Chinese levies.

Tesla might have the most to lose. The electric-car company had been lobbying hard for permission to produce cars in Shanghai, but hasn't reached a deal. It sends vehicles to the Chinese market from its plant in Fremont, California, and its chief executive, Elon Musk, has expressed frustration even at the existing duties.




Aircraft and their parts are the largest single category of American exports to China, making Boeing a big target. For now, though, Beijing seems to be moving slowly. It said it would impose tariffs on planes between 15,000 and 45,000 kilograms, which includes some older models that Chinese buyers have ordered from Boeing. But it seemed to stop conspicuously short of whacking the company's newer 737 MAX 8, which weighs 45,070 kilograms empty.

That near miss is meant to convey to Boeing, and Mr. Trump, what China is capable of, said Richard L. Aboulafia, a long-time aviation and aerospace analyst at the Teal Group.

“Their attitude toward a trade war assumes that the other side will lie down and stay horizontal,” Mr. Aboulafia said. “I'm not sure the easy and fun approach to trade wars holds up against return fire.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Keith Bradsher contributed reporting.

• Natalie Kitroeff covers the economy and heavy industry for The New York Times. Before beginning work at The N.Y. Times she covered the California economy for the Los Angeles Times until 2017. She previously reported on higher education and student debt at Bloomberg. Born outside of Philadelphia, she graduated from Princeton University.

• Ben Casselman writes about economics and other business topics for The New York Times, with a particular focus on stories involving data. He previously served as chief economics writer for the data-journalism web site FiveThirtyEight, and before that as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Casselman won a Loeb Award in 2011 for his coverage of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and was part of a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. A graduate of Columbia University, Mr. Casselman lives in New York with his wife.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Trump's China Policy Has a Flaw: It Makes China the Winner

 • The Post-World War II Order Is Under Assault From the Powers That Built It

 • The Trade Issue That Most Divides U.S. and China Isn't Tariffs

 • How Trump's Protectionism Could Backfire

 • Trade Wars Can Be a Game of Chicken. Sometimes, Literally.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/04/business/economy/trade-impact.html
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2018, 09:04:58 pm »


from The New York Times....

White House Tries to Tamp Down Trade War Fears as China Retaliates

As markets seesawed and industries fretted, American officials held out the possibility
that tariffs outlined this week might never go into effect.


By ANA SWANSON and KEITH BRADSHER | Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Chinese border police officers watching the arrival of a container ship at a port in Qingdao, China. On Wednesday, China threatened to retaliate against many of the American products and industries that President Trump has vowed to protect. — Photograph: China Topix/Associated Press.
Chinese border police officers watching the arrival of a container ship at a port in Qingdao, China. On Wednesday, China threatened to retaliate against
many of the American products and industries that President Trump has vowed to protect. — Photograph: China TopixAssociated Press.


WASHINGTON — White House officials moved quickly on Wednesday to calm fears of a potential trade war with China, saying the administration's proposed tariffs were a “threat” that would ultimately help, not hurt, the United States economy, hours after China said it would punish American products with similar levies.

The administration's insistence that a trade war was not imminent came as the United States and China traded tit-for-tat penalties that caused wild swings in stock markets from Hong Kong to New York. Led by more audacious leaders than either country has had in decades, China and the United States are now locked in a perilous game of chicken, with the possibility to derail the global economic recovery, disrupt international supply chains and destabilize the huge yet debt-laden Chinese economy.

White House officials reiterated on Wednesday that China must stop the “unfair” trading practices President Trump believes have disadvantaged American companies and workers, but they held out the possibility that tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods outlined on Tuesday might never go into effect.

“There's no trade war here,” Larry Kudlow, Mr. Trump's new top economic adviser, said in an interview on Fox Business Network. He described the threat of tariffs as “just the first proposal” in a process that would involve negotiations and back-channel talks. “I understand the stock market's anxiety,” he said. “But on the other hand, don't over-react.”

Behind the scenes, however, top officials remained split over the administration's approach as the United States and China move into a period of high-stakes negotiations. That includes how far to go in punishing China and the types of concessions the White House should accept to avoid a protracted and damaging trade war.

People familiar with the negotiations say Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, have at times argued for more dialogue with the Chinese and quicker concessions that would help diminish the trade deficit — the gap between what China imports to the United States and what America exports. Other top trade advisers, including long-time China critics like Robert Lighthizer and Peter Navarro, have taken a tougher stance, arguing that these changes would do little to address the mercantilist and protectionist trade policies China has adopted for decades.

Mr. Trump's advisers said the president remains resolute and views the pugilistic approach as the only way to force China to end two decades of industrial policies that have hollowed out American manufacturing and resulted in a ballooning trade deficit.

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump suggested in a tweet that he saw no reason to back down, since the United States was already on the losing end of trade with China.

“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S.,” he wrote. “Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”

He added in another tweet, “When you're already $500 Billion DOWN, you can't lose!”

It remains unclear whether China will bend to the pressure and make significant changes to its economy — or whether the White House strategy will instead tip the two nations into a trade war that could harm both countries. Producers of American goods like soybeans, pork, automobiles and semiconductors depend on access to the Chinese market both for exports and production and say they are fearful about a conflict.

“Companies are definitely caught in the middle of this,” said Kenneth Jarrett, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

Economists predict that the direct effects of the tariffs will be relatively small for both China and the United States, since they apply to only a fraction of each country's economic output.

”It's hardly a life-threatening activity,” Mr. Ross said in an interview on CNBC. He added that the volume of the tariffs was in line with the White House's calculation that the Chinese have cheated the United States out of $50 billion worth of intellectual property through coercion and cyber-attacks.

While tariffs would affect a small part of the overall United States economy, they impinge on a relatively large share of American exports to China. If China places tariffs on $50 billion of goods from the United States, as promised, that would be more than one-third of American exports to China. In contrast, American tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods would affect only one-tenth of China's vast exports to the United States.

Within that slice of the economy, the pain could be acute. American farmers and manufacturers, in particular, could suffer. On Wednesday, China said it would penalize American soybeans, cars, chemicals and other goods, hours after the United States announced tariffs on flat-screen televisions, medical devices and industrial machinery.


Imported soybeans at a port in Nantong, China. China outlined tariffs on $50 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, cars and chemicals, in response to a Trump administration plan to hit Chinese products imported to the United States with tariffs. — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Imported soybeans at a port in Nantong, China. China outlined tariffs on $50 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans,
cars and chemicals, in response to a Trump administration plan to hit Chinese products imported to the United States with tariffs.
 — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


The economic effects could also quickly escalate beyond tariffs. The United States is preparing restrictions that could prevent China from investing in high-tech industries like semiconductors and electric vehicles, and it may consider other restrictions, including visas.

China, in return, could make life more difficult for the many American companies that do business in the country, or pare back its purchases of United States debt. China is the largest foreign holder of American debt, holding about $1.17 trillion in United States bonds, notes and bills in January, according to the Treasury Department.

“China has many ways it can make life exceedingly uncomfortable for a large number of American businesses, both those that are hoping for access to China's fast-expanding market, and those that use China as an important part of their supply chains,” said Eswar Prasad, a professor of international trade at Cornell University.

The Trump administration contends that if it does not challenge Beijing now, the Chinese government will heavily subsidize its companies to become dominant producers of cutting-edge industries from robotics to electric cars. That could imperil the United States' ability to create good-paying jobs for future generations, relegating the country to producing food, fossil fuels and financial services, while China extends its lead as the world's largest manufacturer.

But the administration's strategy for halting China's rise has been hard to discern, with some advisers insisting that China must remake its economy, while others say the priority is to reduce the trade deficit, prioritize market access for American companies or end China's infringement on American intellectual property. Some top officials have indicated the tariffs may never be implemented.

On Wednesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, refused to say whether the tariffs would ultimately go into effect, adding, “I would anticipate that if there are no changes to the behavior of China and they don't stop the unfair trade practices, then we would move forward.”

Companies have until May 22 to submit comments to the administration about the tariffs, with the penalties to be imposed at an undetermined date. Separate tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China and other nations went into effect late last month.

In the meantime, American officials including Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Lighthizer have been in talks with the Chinese about ways to resolve their differences. Yet conversations have so far focused on concessions like China reducing tariffs on American cars, opening up its market for financial services and purchasing more semiconductors or natural gas — minor wins that are unlikely to satisfy Mr. Navarro and Mr. Lighthizer, who are pushing for significant and sweeping changes to China's market, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

The United States has also asked for a $100 billion reduction in the $375.2 billion trade deficit it runs with China. But the goods China has offered to buy to narrow that gap — including semiconductors — are not products the Trump administration wants to export. And some advisers say these kind of sales will not do anything to address the underlying problems with the Chinese economy.

China experts say an inconsistent message and approach could undermine America's ability to successfully negotiate.

“We're all over the map,” said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The Chinese are trying to take advantage of this lack of consensus and get the United States to take a quick deal that leaves China's industrial policy machine intact.”

Beijing is also eager to show other trading partners that it will not be bullied into changing its policies.

“I'm not very positive about large concessions or changes that are going to come from China,” said Heiwai Tang, an assistant professor of international economics at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. China's current government is more assertive than recent ones, he said, and the country is heavily dependent on technology transfers from advanced economies as it tries to transform its own.

For the Chinese to successfully negotiate, analysts said, they have to be able to present the deal to their own people as a win. But the United States has refused to give concessions and has painted the confrontation as one in which China must ultimately lose.

“Tariffs are seen as a direct slap in the face, and it will be very difficult for the Chinese government to sit back and take those blows without retaliating,” Mr. Prasad said.

On Wednesday, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, said China preferred to resolve the conflict through talks but would keep its options open.

“Negotiation would still be our preference, but it takes two to tango,” Mr. Cui said. “We will see what the U.S. will do.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Jim Tankersley and Alan Rappeport contributed reporting.

• Ana Swanson writes about trade and international economics for The New York Times. She previously covered trade, the Federal Reserve and the economy for The Washington Post.

• Keith Bradsher is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Shanghai bureau chief for The New York Times, having reopened the Shanghai bureau on November 14th, 2016. He has previously served as the Hong Kong bureau chief and the Detroit bureau chief for The Times. Before those postings, he was a Washington correspondent for The Times covering the Federal Reserve and international trade, and a New York-based business reporter covering transportation and telecommunications for The Times. Born in 1964, Mr. Bradsher received a degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He received a master's degree in public policy with a concentration in economics from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Prior to joining The New York Times, Mr. Bradsher wrote for the Los Angeles Times from 1987 until 1989.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: What Bananas Tell Us About Trade Wars


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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2018, 08:36:10 pm »


from The New York Times....

Why China Is Confident It Can Beat Trump in a Trade War

Beijing has a strong grip on banks, the news media and politics, and it seems
willing to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the American political system.


By STEVEN LEE MYERS | 8:15 EDT — Thursday, April 05, 2018

Imported soybeans at a port in Nantong, China. The latest Chinese tariffs were intended to deliver a warning that American producers and consumers would pay in a trade war. — Photograph: China Topix/Associated Press.
Imported soybeans at a port in Nantong, China. The latest Chinese tariffs were intended to deliver a warning that American producers
and consumers would pay in a trade war. — Photograph: China Topix/Associated Press.


BEIJING — China's leaders sound supremely confident that they can win a trade war with President Trump.

The state news media has depicted him as a reckless bully intent on undermining the global trading system, while presenting the Chinese government as a fair-minded champion of free trade. And China's leader, Xi Jinping, has used the standoff to reinforce the Communist Party's message that the United States is determined to stop China's rise — but that it no longer can. China is already too strong, its economy too big.

“China is not afraid of a trade war,” the vice minister of finance, Zhu Guangyao, declared at a news conference to discuss possible counter-measures. More than once, he cited the history of the “new China” — which began its extraordinary economic revival four decades ago — as evidence that it would “never succumb to external pressure.”

Missing in the bluster and the propaganda are the questionable methods that China has adopted to squeeze foreign companies out of key technology markets — and the fact that in the cold-eyed calculus of economics, China is more vulnerable to a trade war than officials admit.

Exports account for a big share of Chinese economic growth. Because the United States buys so much from China, Washington has many more ways to hit Chinese manufacturers. By contrast, the retaliatory tariffs Beijing has proposed already cover more than one-third of what China buys from the United States, leaving it fewer options to strike back.

In the political realm, however, Mr. Xi enjoys advantages that may allow him to cope with the economic fallout far better than Mr. Trump can. His authoritarian grip on the news media and the party means there is little room for criticism of his policies, even as Mr. Trump must contend with complaints from American companies and consumers before important midterm elections in November.


The highly centralized government under President Xi Jinping and pervasive state control of the news media could allow China to withstand economic shocks from a trade war. — Photograph: Credit Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.
The highly centralized government under President Xi Jinping and pervasive state control of the news media could allow China to withstand
economic shocks from a trade war. — Photograph: Credit Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.


The Chinese government also has much greater control over the economy, allowing it to shield the public from job cuts or factory closings by ordering banks to support industries suffering from American tariffs. It can spread the pain of a trade war while tolerating years of losses from state-run companies that dominate major sectors of the economy.

“My impression is that there is in Washington an exaggerated sense of how painful these tariffs might be” in China, said Arthur R. Kroeber, managing director of Gavekal Dragonomics, a research firm in Beijing.

At worst, he estimated, the American actions could shave one-tenth of a percentage point off China's economic growth — hardly enough to force a drastic reversal of policies, given the enormous benefits that Chinese leaders see in the state-heavy economic model they have relied on in recent decades.

At the same time, Chinese officials seem to believe they can take advantage of what they consider vulnerabilities in the American political system.

“The American agricultural sector is quite influential in the Congress,” said Wang Yong, a professor of economics at Peking University, explaining why China has targeted farm products such as soybeans with possible retaliatory tariffs. “China wants the American domestic political system to do the work.”

The president and his administration have sent drastically different messages this week.

Hours after China's announcement on Wednesday, administration officials sought to calm fears that a trade war was imminent, suggesting that they might not pull the trigger on a plan to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods.

But late Thursday, Mr. Trump said he would consider levying an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods in response to its “unfair retaliation.” In a statement, he said, “Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers.”


Unloading imported soybeans at a port in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China, on Wednesday. China has said it will raise tariffs on American soybeans, among other products. — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Unloading imported soybeans at a port in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China, on Wednesday. China has said it will raise tariffs on American soybeans,
among other products. — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


Mr. Zhu, China's vice minister of finance, this week had thanked American soybean farmers and the association that represents them for declaring their opposition to the Trump administration’s plan.

In addition to soybeans, China threatened to retaliate with tariffs on American cars, chemicals and other products. The 106 goods, many produced in parts of the country that have supported Mr. Trump, were selected to deliver a warning that American workers and consumers would suffer in a protracted standoff.

“If anyone wants to fight, we will be there with him,” Mr. Zhu said, more or less outlining the terms for an American surrender: the removal of unilateral tariffs and a resolution of any grievances through the World Trade Organization. “If he wants to negotiate, the door is open.”

Globally, China's strategy has been to isolate the United States, splitting it from allies in Europe and Asia who otherwise share American concerns about heavy-handed Chinese trade policies intended to protect key markets and to acquire technology from foreign firms.

Mr. Kroeber said a united front against China would be more effective than American tariffs alone, but so far Mr. Trump has not managed to build one.

Instead, Mr. Xi has largely succeeded in occupying the high moral ground on the world stage, projecting China as the sober-minded steward of international agreements on issues — from global trade to climate change — that Mr. Trump has been eager to walk away from.

“The American side is ready to launch a trade war at the slightest pretext,” the party's flagship newspaper, People's Daily, wrote in a blistering editorial on Thursday, condemning Mr. Trump's tariffs as “totally against the trend of economic globalization.”

“Today, it targets China, and tomorrow may take aim at other countries,” it said.


Ford cars at an automotive dealership in Shanghai on Thursday. American cars could also face new tariffs. — Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters.
Ford cars at an automotive dealership in Shanghai on Thursday. American cars could also face new tariffs. — Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters.

The party has also seized on the trade dispute as new evidence that the United States is intent on undermining China's rise as a global power, a central narrative used to justify the party's, and Mr. Xi's, rule.

In December, the state news media also highlighted the new National Security Strategy unveiled by the Trump administration, which declared that China “sought to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and re-order the region in its favor.”

The document signaled a bipartisan shift in Washington's posture toward China after decades of economic cooperation and concessions. The party has argued that the United States is only now challenging China because it fears losing its privileged place in the world order.

“The latest U.S. measures against China carry a sense of containment, which purportedly is commonplace among U.S. politicians,” said an editorial in Global Times, a nationalist state-run tabloid. “But they have overlooked the fact that China has grown to be another economic center of the world.”

It went on to note that China's market was now “no smaller or less attractive” than the American one — a bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but not as big as it would have been a decade ago. And that makes the country a more formidable opponent than Mr. Trump may have anticipated.

“To take China down,” the editorial said, “would mean an unimaginably cruel battle for the U.S.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Olivia Mitchell Ryan and Echo Hui contributed research.

• Steven Lee Myers is a veteran diplomatic and national security correspondent, now based in the Beijing bureau. He joined The New York Times in 1989, and has previously worked as a correspondent in Moscow, Baghdad and Washington, where he covered the State Department, the Pentagon and the White House. He is the author of The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2015.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • If There's a U.S.-China Trade War, China May Have Some ‘Unconventional Weapons’


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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2018, 08:58:17 pm »


from The New York Times....

Trump Doubles Down on Potential Trade War With China

President Trump said he would consider imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth
of Chinese goods in retaliation for China's plan to impose its own tariffs on American products.


By ANA SWANSON and KEITH BADSHER | 11:13PM EDT — Thursday, April 05, 2018

President Trump said on Thursday that he would consider hitting China with an additional $100 billion in tariffs. — Photograph: Tom Brenner/The New York Times.
President Trump said on Thursday that he would consider hitting China with an additional $100 billion in tariffs.
 — Photograph: Tom Brenner/The New York Times.


WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Thursday that the United States would consider slapping an additional $100 billion in tariffs on the Chinese, escalating a potentially damaging trade dispute with Beijing.

Mr. Trump said in a statement that he was responding to “unfair retaliation” by China, which published a list on Wednesday of $50 billion in American products that would be hit by tariffs, including soybeans and pork. That move was a direct reaction to the $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods that the White House detailed on Tuesday.

“Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers,” Mr. Trump said, adding that he has instructed the United States trade representative to determine if another $100 billion in tariffs were warranted and, “if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs.”

The announcement came one day after some of Mr. Trump's advisers tried to calm markets and tamp down fears of a trade war between the world's two largest economies, saying that the tariff threats were the first step in a negotiation process. Mr. Trump said in his statement that the potential for new tariffs would not preclude discussions with the Chinese “to protect the technology and intellectual property of American companies and American people,” but any new tariffs are unlikely to make that already tough task easier.

The move is a high-stakes gamble aimed at cowing China into backing down and forcing it to make the kinds of changes that the United States is seeking — namely reducing the coercive tactics American officials say Beijing uses to try to dominate leading-edge industries like artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles. But the move could ultimately bring about the kind of retaliation from Beijing that has spooked stock markets.

It also means that the United States would be somewhat more likely to place levies on Chinese products that American households routinely purchase, like furniture, clothing or shoes — an outcome the Trump administration said it sought to avoid with its initial round of tariffs.

The president's announcement was immediately criticized by manufacturers, retailers and politicians from states whose economies depend on agriculture.

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, said Mr. Trump was “threatening to light American agriculture on fire.”

“Hopefully the president is just blowing off steam again, but if he's even half-serious, this is nuts,” Mr. Sasse said. “Let’s absolutely take on Chinese bad behavior, but with a plan that punishes them instead of us. This is the dumbest possible way to do this.”

A trade war could derail the current global economic expansion and cripple American businesses that depend on business with China. It could also further complicate geopolitical priorities given the Trump administration has enlisted the help of the Chinese in scheduling historic talks with North Korea next month.

In a statement, Robert Lighthizer, the trade adviser who is carrying out an investigation into Chinese practices, described the president's threat as “an appropriate response,” saying China should have responded to the initial tariffs levied by the United States by changing its behavior.

In the first hint of the Chinese government's response to Mr. Trump's latest action, the Weibo mini-blog of the official Xinhua news service said that “this move severely violates world trade regulations.”

Zhu Guangyao, China's vice minister of finance, made clear at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon that his country would not back down easily. “If anyone wants to fight, we'll be there with them. If he wants to negotiate, the door is open,” Mr. Zhu said.

Mr. Trump's effort to raise the stakes on Thursday seemed poised to send financial markets spinning, with futures on the Standard & Poor's 500-index down and the yen climbing against the dollar.

Companies potentially caught in the middle of a trade war called on the Trump administration to back down and try to work with the Chinese.

“The announcement that the administration may issue $100 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese products is irresponsible and destabilizing,” said Dean C. Garfield, the chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents companies such as Amazon, Apple and IBM. “We call on both sides to halt unproductive and escalatory rhetoric, recognizing that these words and actions have global consequences.”

China experts have questioned whether Mr. Trump's aggressive negotiating style will leave Chinese leaders with enough political room to make concessions to the Americans. Bowing to the president's demands could be seen internally as weakness, and the changes that the administration wants — reducing China's dominance in cutting-edge manufacturing and technology — is not something Beijing is likely to agree to.

Wang Shouwen, China's vice minister of commerce, has repeatedly refused to discuss curbing the “Made in China 2025” industrial plan. The Trump administration contends that the program violates international trade rules that prohibit countries from using subsidies to help exporters and discourage imports. Mr. Wang and other officials deny that the program is in violation, but have provided few details on how it might comply.

Including this most recent action, the United States would be placing tariffs on a total of $153 billion of Chinese products. The threat of $100 billion in tariffs came on top of the tariffs on $3 billion in Chinese steel and aluminum that he imposed last month and the tariffs on a further $50 billion in Chinese goods that he has threatened to impose in recent days.

The total is now so large that China would have trouble finding enough American goods to penalize if it sought to impose a proportional retaliation. China bought only $130.4 billion worth of American goods last year, while the United States bought $505.6 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The National Retail Federation blasted the move as a dangerous game of chicken that would put the United States on the losing end of a trading relationship that has benefited American companies and consumers.

“This is what a trade war looks like, and what we have warned against from the start. We are on a dangerous downward spiral, and American families will be on the losing end,” Matthew R. Shay, the president and chief executive of the retail group, said in a statement. “We urge the administration to change course and stop playing a game of chicken with the nation's economy.”

The Chinese have tools other than tariffs at their disposal, including limiting the operations of American banks and other service providers in China. The government could also urge the Chinese public not to buy American-brand cars like Chevrolets and Fords, even though those are built almost entirely from Chinese-made parts and assembled in factories in China.

The biggest question would be whether China would start retaliating not commercially but through geopolitical actions. While Trump administration trade officials appear to have been operating with considerable autonomy from those responsible for issues like North Korea and Taiwan, policymaking is much more unified in China.

That means China could try to raise the temperature in the dispute by installing more military equipment on the artificial islands that it has recently built across the South China Sea, almost to the shores of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

China could also step up pressure on Taiwan. Beijing leaders are already deeply upset about recent congressional approval of the Taiwan Travel Act, which urged Mr. Trump to send administration officials to the self-governing island. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and has threatened to use force to reunite it.

Chinese experts have made clear that they perceive the ever-larger rounds of American tariffs as part of a broad American challenge that goes beyond dollars and cents. “It is more than just a trade issue: It involves geopolitical reasons,” Wu Xinbo, the chief of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said in an interview this week. “Trump has mentioned before, if China doesn't agree on economy and trade, the U.S. will reconsider China issues — that includes the South China Sea and Taiwan.”

President Xi Jinping of China is scheduled to give a major speech on Tuesday at the Bo'ao Forum on China's Hainan island, which may give more clues to China's response. The speech has been billed by other Chinese officials as a moment when Mr. Xi would lay out a blueprint for China's economic overhaul and liberalization, a potential peace offering to the Trump administration, said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“President Trump's move may throw a small monkey wrench into Xi's plans,” Mr. Kennedy said. “He may now need to couple such a proposal with the warning that China will continue to defend itself against foreign pressure.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Ana Swanson reported from Washington D.C., and Keith Bradsher from Shanghai.

• Ana Swanson writes about trade and international economics for The New York Times. She previously covered trade, the Federal Reserve and the economy for The Washington Post.

• Keith Bradsher is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Shanghai bureau chief for The New York Times, having reopened the Shanghai bureau on November 14th, 2016. He has previously served as the Hong Kong bureau chief and the Detroit bureau chief for The Times. Before those postings, he was a Washington correspondent for The Times covering the Federal Reserve and international trade, and a New York-based business reporter covering transportation and telecommunications for The Times. Born in 1964, Mr. Bradsher received a degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He received a master's degree in public policy with a concentration in economics from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Prior to joining The New York Times, Mr. Bradsher wrote for the Los Angeles Times from 1987 until 1989.

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Related to this topic:

 • How the China-U.S. Trade Conflict Unfolded, Blow by Blow


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/05/business/trump-trade-war-china.html
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