China: US tariffs will hit intl. supply chains

A China central bank adviser said the planned US import tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods - $34 billion plus a planned follow-on list worth $16 billion - will cut China's economic growth by 0.2 percentage points, the official Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

Many caught in the initial line of fire - USA farmers absorbing tariffs on their exports to China, for instance - are fearful.

China's commerce ministry said it lodged a new complaint with the World Trade Organization on Friday, July 6, over tariffs imposed by the United States, the official Xinhua news agency said.

President Donald Trump has pulled the trigger on a trade war with China - which immediately plans to launch a counter-attack.

But that step raises costs for US companies that rely on Chinese-made machinery or components. "If China does not soon mend its ways, we will quickly begin fulfilling our promise to support producers, who have become casualties of these disputes".

But given the complicated nature of global supply chains, President Trump's tariffs are also harming other businesses far and wide.

The official China Daily newspaper accused the Trump administration of "behaving like a gang of hoodlums".

"We will absolutely not fire the first shot, and we will not impose tariffs ahead of the United States", it said in a brief statement.

Despite frustration with Chinese trade practices, USA businesses have warned for months that Trump's trade threats may do more harm than good.

Still, Chinese investors and companies were anxious. The Shanghai Composite index fell 1.1%, after reaching more than a two-year low this week.

Beijing has accused the USA of "firing on the whole world" with the measures, pointing out that most of the Chinese exports under attack are largely made by companies with foreign investment - including from America.

Foreign companies accounted for $20 billion, or 59 percent, of the $34 billion of exports from China that would be subject to new USA tariffs, with US firms accounting for a significant part of that 59 percent, Gao said.

In the run-up to Friday, there was no sign of renewed negotiations between US and Chinese officials, business sources in Washington and Beijing said.

Economists say that if the back-and-forth stops there, the overall impact on both economies will be minimal even though some industries will suffer.

Before all the talk of tariffs, his sales were steadily rising, building on the gradual acceptance of the signature USA liquor in European and Asian markets.

The steel and aluminum tariffs have drawn retaliation from a host of USA trading partners.

That would bring the total of targeted Chinese goods to $550 billion - more than the $506 billion in goods that China shipped to the United States previous year. Another $16 billion of goods could follow in two weeks, Trump earlier told reporters, before suggesting the final total could eventually reach $550 billion, a figure that exceeds all of USA goods imports from China in 2017.

The duties on Chinese goods will go forward just after midnight, Trump told reporters on Air Force One on his way to Montana on Thursday.

"We have to be aware that we are only one tweet away from much broader tariffs becoming a reality", she said, adding that investors were trimming broad exposure to riskier assets. USA stocks rose and the dollar extended losses.

But China also believes that its economy, with a greater focus on domestic demand and a reduced dependence on exports, can ride out the storm.

Meanwhile, Russia said it would introduce extra duties on a range of products imported from the US. -China tit-for-tat, as tariffs on soybeans, electric cars, whiskey, livestock and crude oil have been threatened.

The US was already undermining the WTO's trade disputes process by stalling on the appointment of new judges, he said. "The impact on the USA political environment is, however, likely to be far greater", he said.

Vanessa Coleman

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