White House eases up on the trade war rhetoric on the weekend

White House eases up on the trade war rhetoric on the weekend

White House eases up on the trade war rhetoric on the weekend

The U.S. buys $506 billion worth of goods from China but only exports $130 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $375 billion between the two countries.

The U.S. and Chinese governments have doubled down in an escalating trade dispute, with the U.S. threatening to impose tariffs on up to $153 billion of imports from China.

"If the United States side disregards opposition from China and the global community and insists on carrying out unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese side will follow through, at any costs, till the end", the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement yesterday. Responding to the Trump administration's controversial tariff on steel and aluminium, China has proposed tariffs on 128 U.S. products worth $3 billion.

Washington has published a target list of 1,300 items imported from China worth an estimated $50 billion that would be hit with an extra tariff of 25 per cent ("Notice of determination", USTR, April 3).

Then the Trump administration announced 25 percent duties on more than 1,300 Chinese products worth some $50 billion.

On Wednesday, China unveiled a list of 106 United States goods including soybeans, whiskey, frozen beef and aircraft targeted for tariffs, just hours after the Trump administration proposed duties on some 1,300 Chinese industrial, technology, transport and medical products.

That is doubly true in a potential trade war with China, for several reasons.

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Earlier White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, however, declared that US President Donald Trump would easily win a trade war with China if he takes charge of the negotiation process.

"In 2016, Limestone County produced the most soybeans in Alabama with 2.2 million bushels", according to the Alabama Farmers Federation. "If the United States announces an additional $100 billion list of tariffs, China has already fully prepared, and will not hesitate to immediately make a fierce counter strike". "We don't have a trade war, we've lost the trade war", Trump said in a radio interview with NY radio show, 77 WABC's "Bernie & Sid". Amid widespread concern and calls for restraint from U.S. businesses and farm states that are most vulnerable to Chinese retaliation, Trump said on Friday the outcome would be worth the short-term risk.

The US measures mainly goods that allegedly benefitted from China's theft of US intellectual property. Gao said comments from US officials about ongoing talks about trade issues were incorrect. Already in the crosshairs of Chinese retaliation are USA exports of $6 billion in motor vehicles and $16 billion worth of civilian aircraft. Other U.S. carmakers such as General Motors and Ford Motor also manufacture in China.

Any war has winners and losers within countries, says David Laborde, a senior research fellow in the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division of IFPRI in Washington, DC. Trade wars, however, are like real wars in that they are easy to start, but, once underway, the course is unpredictable and they can be hard to halt.

The secretary tried to assure investors that Trump's willingness to fight for U.S. interests would be a "long-term positive" for American companies.

So far, only the tariffs on steel and aluminium have taken effect, but Trump's latest threats take the dispute to a new level.

That was backed up by Trump's chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who said tariff negotiations with China had not started.

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