China may have 'underestimated' Trump's resolve

Scott Sinklier  Newscom

Scott Sinklier Newscom

The Australian dollar sank to a one-year low of A$ 0.7380 on the escalating U.S.

Beijing has accused the United States of "extreme pressure and blackmailing" and vowed to retaliate after Trump threatened more tariffs on $200bn of Chinese products.

The China trade offensive is only one side of Trump's multi-front battle with all major USA economic partners.

Last week, Mr Trump confirmed that the U.S. would impose 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese goods.

The US imports about US$505 billion a year in goods from China.

The Director of White House National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, told reporters Tuesday the White House has given China every opportunity to change its "aggressive behavior". The WTI discount to Brent at the moment stands at around US$9.50 a barrel, but this will be not just wiped out should China go ahead with the tariffs.

The US, the world's largest economy, has a trade deficit of nearly 500 billion US dollars with China, the world's second largest economy.

Trump's trade strategy toward China sent global stock markets skidding and weakened both the dollar and the Chinese yuan on Tuesday.

The euro bounced back slightly to $1.1623 after hitting a two-week low of $1.1541 Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 370 points, or 1.5 per cent. US bond yields fell in a flight to safety.

He called the move retaliation for Beijing's decision last weekend to raise tariffs on 50 billion dollars' worth of US products. "The rising risk of a disruptive trade conflict makes a bad situation tentatively worse".

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In the separate dispute about steel and aluminium tariffs, he also has to contend with the politically targeted retaliation that other countries such as Mexico, Canada and the European Union have in hand, meant to hit important states in the mid-term elections.

Economists complain that Trump's efforts to reduce America's deficit are misguided, saying the gap in trade with China reflects the underlying economy.

Trump's list will have to undergo a two month comment period before it is finalized.

"That would lift to 10 per cent if Mr Trump followed through with his threats", Dr Oliver said. "But the short-term damage to the markets and the impact on the economy has me concerned".

According to the New York Times article, Trump promised Cook that he wouldn't place tariffs on iPhone assembled in China.

That comes after the USA on Friday announced that it would impose a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion of Chinese products.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to a business group in Detroit, Michigan on Monday.

The Canadian government believes a deal to update NAFTA is still possible despite a US move to impose tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in Ottawa on Tuesday.

Beijing has mounted campaigns against Japanese and South Korean companies in the past after diplomatic disputes.

"This is a trade dispute - nothing more, nothing less", Mr Navarro said.

Away from Mr Trump's dispute with China, Russia said it would impose tariffs on certain American goods in response to the recent tariffs placed on steel and aluminium imports by the US.

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