Eli Ridder | The Avro Post
China retaliated on Wednesday against penalties proposed by the United States on Chinese imports by announcing a 25 per cent tariff on various crucial U.S. exports including automobiles, beef, planes and soya beans.
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on $50 billion USD in Chinese imports across 1,300 categories of products, ranging from industrial robots to locomotives., according to analysts.
Soya beans are the top agricultural export that the U.S. sends to China and was just one item set to be struck by tariffs in an ongoing and escalating trade conflict between Washington and much of the international stage.
The tariffs will not go in place right away, as U.S. companies have until May 22 to give their statements on the proposed tariffs with a public hearing scheduled for May 15, and Beijing is watching what Washington does first.
The proposed Tuesday tariffs come after the steel and aluminum levies imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump in March received overwhelming criticism from the European Union, North America and others, including U.S. politicians.
Canada and Mexico were able to gain exemption from the 25 per cent aluminium and 10 per cent steel levies dependent on the outcome of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Other countries are also working to skirt the heavy tariffs by finding bilateral agreements with Washington.
‘Not in a trade war’
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted early on Wednesday to say that “we are not in a trade war with China, that was was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S.”
Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross both held out the possibility of talks to resolve the matter, which could still occur before Beijing and Washington formalize the levies.
Mr. Kudlow told reporters outside the White House that he doesn’t see the tensions as a trade war, but a “negotiation, using all the tools”.
Secretary Ross told CNBC it would not be surprising if negotiations launched to avoid the levies, but did not say when this might happen.
The global markets had a rocky start on Wednesday morning in reaction to the trade disputes, but no huge losses were taken for the North American stocks by the last hours before closings in New York and Toronto.
“Uncertainty over next steps as tensions escalate between the U.S. and China is driving a strong risk-off bias across global asset classes,” said Derek Holt, vice-president at Scotiabank Economics in a note to CBC News.
More details to follow. Image of the China and U.S. flags from CGTN America.