The China-US Trade War Might Go Beyond Tariffs Soon

Shamubeel Eaqub

Shamubeel Eaqub"The US is treating trade negotiations like a high stakes poker game. But don't expect China to fold

The United States is putting "a knife to China's neck" on trade issues, a senior Chinese official has said, as the two sides struggle to find a way to end a months-long standoff over trade.

Bloomberg reported that the China Daily, Beijing's official English newspaper, paid for a four-page advertising supplement on Sunday in the Des Moines Register - the largest newspaper in the politically important state of Iowa - that highlighted the impact of the trade war on soybean farmers.

The white paper blames US President Donald Trump's "America First" policy for torpedoing years of progress in settling differences through bilateral forums and exchanges. Though Beijing has not revealed what such steps might be, business executives and analysts say it could withhold exports of certain products to the United States or create more administrative red tape for American companies operating in China.

China also accused the USA of engaging in "trade bullyism", and said Washington was intimidating other countries to submit to its will, according to a white paper on the dispute published by China's State Council, or cabinet, on Monday.

With no settlement in sight, forecasters say the conflict between the two biggest economies could trim global growth by 0.5 percentage points through 2020.

"The trade war is now a reality", said Fitch economist Brian Coulton. "Upholstered wooden seats", "wooden furniture", and "metal furniture" will now all be tariffed, along with other household goods like vacuum cleaners and some lamps.

Chinese regulators have tried to cushion the blow on their own economy by targeting American goods such as soybeans, natural gas, fruit, whisky and automobiles that are available from Europe, Latin America and other Asian countries.

As China called off planned trade talks with USA officials, the latest round of retaliatory tariffs went into effect on Monday. That would cover almost everything China sells to the United States.

The report gave no indication of possible Chinese concessions or room for compromise.

"As such, it is an attractive prospect for other countries, including the United States, to coexist with China peacefully".

The communist government has rejected Trump's demand to roll back plans for state-led development of robotics and other technology industries that Beijing's trading partners say violate its market-opening obligations.

The US companies now have to pay 25 percent tax for steel and 10 percent tax for aluminum if they want to import from those countries, according to Trump's new tariffs.

Imports of American goods previous year totalled $153.9 billion while the United States bought Chinese goods worth $429.8 billion, according to Chinese customs data.

Still, the USA remains open to talks, Lindsay Walters, deputy White House press secretary, said in an emailed statement.

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