Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

United States soybean farmers say China tariffs could result in 'serious damage'

United States soybean farmers say China tariffs could result in 'serious damage'

"A trade war based on increasing tariffs hurts the United States and China, and businesses and consumers".

China's Ministry of Commerce also said it would look to report the the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday, accusing Washington of breaching worldwide trade laws.

China implemented retaliatory tariffs on USA goods just after noon on Friday, immediately after the US began collecting additional tariffs on Chinese imports, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing an unnamed spokesperson from China's General Administration of Customs.

"The Chinese side promised not to fight the first shot, but in order to defend the core interests of the country and the interests of the people, they had to be forced to make the necessary counterattacks", the Commerce Ministry said.

Companies worry the spiraling dispute could chill global economic growth, but Asian financial markets took Friday's developments in stride. Another $16 billion of goods could follow in two weeks, Trump earlier told reporters, before suggesting the final total could eventually reach $550 billion, a figure that exceeds all of US goods imports from China in 2017.

Adding to concerns this week was a leaked report suggesting Trump had asked his officials to look at pulling the United States out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) altogether.

Despite three rounds of negotiations between the two sides, including a Chinese pledge to significantly increase purchases of American products, Trump chose to go ahead with the tariffs.

Xi's government has expressed confidence China can hold out against US pressure, but companies and investors are uneasy.

"For companies with supply exposure to tariffs, they will move sourcing country of origin if they can; if they can't, they'll pass on as much of the tariff cost as they can, or see a cut in margins", said Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the US-China Business Council in Beijing. The US trade deficit in goods with China ballooned to a record US$375.2 billion previous year, stoking his ire.

The imbroglio began in April, when the Trump administration announced that it would impose import duties of 25% on Chinese products to punish the country for what the administration said were unfair trade practices. "It is not only because of China's large market size, but it is also because the Chinese market is stable, rational, and committed to the rule of law".

The president believes this is the best way to close the trade deficit between the U.S. and China.

Another seller said they didn't know how tariffs would impact U.S. sellers, but called for shipping-rate parity, referring to the impact of Terminal Dues that makes it cheaper to ship to USA shoppers from certain countries than it costs United States sellers.

"I think it's true to say that a lot of the pessimism has already been factored in over the past couple of weeks, with share prices gradually going down as the realisation has set in that apart from being a war of words, this does now seem to be a trade war", he added.

The Latest on the trade dispute between the United States and China as they impose new tariffs.

Trump ran for the White House on a vow to reverse decades of US policy by scrapping deals that he said put American manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage and by forcing USA trading partners to shrink their trade surpluses with the United States. The oilseed is the top agricultural commodity that the USA ships to China by far and is among the largest products for overall exports. It opened markets for USA farmers but led some American automakers to shift production to low-wage Mexico and to then ship cars back to the United States duty-free.

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