The trade war is already hurting United States companies in China

Mae Love
September 14, 2018

The largest American business groups in China issued a plea to President Trump on Thursday: Please stop with the tariffs.

So far, the United States and China have hit US$50 billion worth of each other's goods with tariffs in a dispute over U.S. demands that China make sweeping economic policy changes, including ending joint venture and technology transfer policies, rolling back industrial subsidy programs and better protecting American intellectual property.

The next round is likely to make thousands of products, ranging from dishwashers to Fitbit fitness trackers and food seasonings, more expensive for American consumers.

Zheng expressed support for Trump's wider aim of levelling the playing field between the USA and China, and addressing "long-standing inequities".

This latest tweet underscores that concern.

Businesses remained optimistic about near-term prospects, but worries about trade prompted some to scale back or postpone capital investment plans, according to the Fed's survey, known as the Beige Book, released Wednesday.

The businesses reported that higher tariffs were pushing up costs for some manufactured goods, and the retail prices of goods and services is rising at a moderate pace.

"The Trump administration should not be mistaken that China will surrender to the US demands".

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.

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A US Treasury spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

China welcomed on Thursday a U.S. offer to hold fresh trade talks, adding that the two are discussing the details and providing some hope the world's top economies could step back from the brink of an all-out trade war.

China accuses the U.S. of launching "the largest trade war in economic history" and has retaliated in kind. "But we can do so through means other than blanket tariffs".

As of June 30, almost 450 entities employed lobbyists on trade issues - up from about 160 at the start of the year and about 100 when Trump took office, according to lobbying-disclosure reports compiled by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Wednesday invited Chinese officials to a new round of talks later this month over US threatened tariffs on Chinese exports worth $200 billion, and a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters Thursday that Beijing welcomed the invitation.

"We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us", he wrote on Twitter, in response to a Wall Street Journal article that cited "a steady rise in political pressure" to ease up on trade fights. Mr. Trump said the newspaper got it wrong about which side is under pressure to deal.

"Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing", he wrote.

So far, the United States and China have hit $50 billion worth of each others' goods with tariffs in a dispute over US demands that China make sweeping economic policy changes, including ending joint venture and technology transfer policies, rolling back industrial subsidy programs and better protecting American intellectual property.

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