Economy

Robert Scott, economist, says fears over Donald Trump tariffs overblown

Robert Scott, economist, says fears over Donald Trump tariffs overblown

Americans don't notice the 25 percent duty on light trucks, known as the "chicken tax", that has been on the books since 1964, when President Johnson levied it in retaliation for France and West Germany's tariff on US chicken.

Larry Kudlow, who heads the White House Economic Council, told Fox Business Network that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had sent an invitation to senior Chinese officials, but he declined to provide further details.

"With the $200 billion round of tariffs looming, this is probably the best time for the United States to go back to the table with a "take it or leave it" type of trade demand", Robert Carnell, the chief Asia-Pacific economist at investment bank ING, said in a note.

"In fact, from last month's preliminary talks in Washington, the two sides' trade talk teams have maintained various forms of contact, and held discussions on the concerns of each side", he said.

Asian shares advanced on Thursday on hopes that a deal could be struck in the bitter tariff dispute between the world's two largest economies.

Roughly three-in-four firms surveyed said duties on an additional $200-billion worth of Chinese goods would hurt business further, and close to 70 per cent said additional retaliatory Chinese tariffs would be bad for business.

"The aim of reform should be to allow countries to enjoy the development fruits of globalization more fairly, not to further widen the differences between south and north", Wang said. -China talks would delay the duties.

"I think the talks have the potential to be successful, but it depends on the approach that both countries take", she said.

The current world trade system is not ideal and China supports reforms to it, including to the World Trade Organization, to make it fairer and more effective, Beijing's top diplomat said.

But he cautioned: "I guarantee nothing".

In a move to defuse trade war tensions, Beijing has welcomed Washington's offer to hold another meeting to sort out their differences.

Russia, China Flex Military Might Together
Since then Moscow has increased the number of its large-scale military exercises in the Caucasus, the Baltic and the Arctic. The exercise simulated a "massive missile attack" by an "unnamed enemy", another military official Sergei Tikhonov said.

In recent meetings with cabinet-level Chinese officials, USCBC representatives were told that licensing won't resume "until the trajectory of the U.S".

The duty on light trucks, which account for about 50 percent of auto sales in the US, was hardly mentioned before Mr. Trump started threatening Europe with tariffs on vehicles.

The tweet appeared aimed at a Wall Street Journal report about Mr. Mnuchin's invitation.

The majority of American companies in China say they are hurting from the escalating US-China trade spat, reporting increased costs, lower profits and stepped-up scrutiny, a survey showed Thursday.

The U.S. administration is readying a final list of $200 billion in Chinese imports on which it plans to levy tariffs of 10-25 percent in coming days, which would ramp up the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

China has also warned it could unleash "qualitative" measures, which USA business groups have interpreted as more burdensome regulations, stalled visas and other red-tape headaches.

A day earlier, more than 60 United States industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public.

The negative impact of the tariffs on USA firms has been "clear and far-reaching", according to a joint survey by AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai.

"Tariffs are already negatively impacting U.S. companies and the imposition of a proposed $200 billion tranche will bring a lot more pain", Eric Zheng, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said Thursday in a statement.

China is running out of American imports for retaliation due to their lopsided trade balance, but threatened unspecified "comprehensive measures" in June.


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