Markets

White House slams China’s ‘weak’ tariff threat and ‘lousy’ economy

White House slams China’s ‘weak’ tariff threat and ‘lousy’ economy

The latest exchanges in the mounting trade war between America and some of its biggest trading partners, including China, the EU, Canada and Mexico, comes amid early signs of damage for the world economy.

China on Friday said it will slap additional tariffs on about Dollars 60 billion worth of American products in retaliation to President Donald Trump's plan to raise duty on USD 200 billion Chinese imports, escalating the trade war between the top two economies of the world.

The United States was the fourth-largest supplier of foreign chocolate products to China in 2017, worth around $24 million, after Italy, Russia and Belgium, according to customs data. They also stressed that the White House needs to be clear about what it actually wants from China.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider raising proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products from 10% to 25%.

Trump believes that the gulf between how much China exports to the United States and how much the United States exports to China reflects unfair trade practices, which he has vowed to address through penalties on imports and a range of other measures.

Lawmakers from both parties continued to voice their opposition to Trump's tariffs, urging the administration to get back to the negotiating table. The deficit in goods trade with China also rose.

Beijing said the timing of the new tariffs would depend on whether the USA follows through on its threat.

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"The United States has deviated from the consensus of the two sides on several occasions, unilaterally escalating trade frictions, seriously violating the rules of the World Trade Organization, undermining the global industrial chain and the free trade system, substantially harming the interests of our country and the people, and will also include the United States", China said in proposing the levies.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) shake hands during their bilateral meeting at the 51st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore on Aug 3, 2018.

While Trump has threatened to put import tariffs on European cars, Kudlow said the president's recent transatlantic visit had led to constructive talks with the EU.

China's finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, ranging from 5 to 25 per cent.

Beijing can not match those measures dollar for dollar, as its exports far exceed imports.

Tariffs on another $16bn worth of products are pending, the second part of tariffs on $50bn worth of imports that the USA announced in March.