Trade threats unnerve global markets

Robert Lighthizer said Mr Trump directed the increase because China refused to meet U.S. demands and has imposed retaliatory tariffs on USA goods.

Geneva: China said on Thursday it will hit back with "counter-measures" if US President Donald Trump imposes additional tariffs of 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, a clear indication of worsening global trade war between the world's two largest economies, according to people familiar with the development. The Chinese have retaliated in kind.

On July 10, Washington unveiled a list of another US$200 billion in Chinese goods, from areas as varied as electrical machinery, leather goods and seafood, that would be hit with 10 per cent import duties.

NAFTA did away with most barriers, including tariffs, on trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Raising the proposed tax rate on those goods means extending the deadline for public comment on the plan from August 30 to September 5.

Washington wants China to open its market more to United States products and stop harming American workers, one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a signing ceremony during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing, China April 27, 2018.

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China's top diplomat on Thursday encouraged the Trump administration to "calm down" amid escalating tariff threats, saying increased rhetoric will not lead to results.

China says the United States is trying to stop the rise of a competitor and it has imposed its own tariffs on US goods.

The proposed increase drew criticism from industry groups like the National Retail Federation, which said the move would ultimately hurt United States consumers.

In fact, China can keep devaluing the Yuan until its capital controls "firewall" finally cracks: recall that this was the trigger that prompted a global bear market (from which the United States was spared) in 2015/2016 when China lost a total of $1 trillion in reserves to defend its current against an onslaught of capital flight. When Countries like China and Germany implement policies of wage suppression, they not only make their domestic producers more competitive relative to the United States, they also create excess savings that must be invested overseas. - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Mr Trump has ultimately threatened tariffs on more than $US500bn in Chinese goods, covering virtually all U.S. imports from China. But the two neighbours - and other US allies and trading partners - have slapped back with tariffs of their own, often aimed at USA farmers who supported Trump in the 2016 election.

Lighthizer told reporters on Wednesday that the additional tariffs are necessary because the original duties did not prompt China to change its trade policy.

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