Yuan, Aussie hit as USA threatens more tariffs on China

Canola is an “imperfect substitute” for soybeans
Mike Drew  Postmedia

Washington has made a decision to slap additional tariffs on 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports, as trade tensions escalate between China and the United States.

World stocks fell and the dollar rose Wednesday after Washington threatened to hammer Beijing with tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese imports, ratcheting up the global trade war.

The United States is preparing 10 per cent tariffs on more than 6,000 Chinese products, from air conditioning units and antiques to toilet paper and truffles.

Oliver Jones from Capital Economics has warned that China's response to Trump's latest tariff threat could hit the U.S. stock market hard.

That intensification of the trade skirmish, which is now being upgraded to a full-scale trade war by some commentators, has investors spooked about the future of the global world order, and the global economy, pushing stock markets around the world deep into the red.

China imported US goods worth $130 billion previous year and Friday's tariff hike hit $34 billion of that, with another $16 billion cited for a possible increase.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1.2 percent to 21,932.21 and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.6 percent to finish at 2,280.62. The administration says its tariffs are created to punish China for what it calls unfair trade practices, theft of intellectual property, and "forced technology transfers".

But China also faces difficulties in retaliating directly: it ships far more goods to the United States ($506 billion past year, according to USA figures) than come back in the opposite direction ($130 billion).

Senate Finance Committee chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) also took aim at the announced list, saying it "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

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In Beijing, Li Chenggang, assistant minister at China's Commerce Ministry, said at a forum in Beijing that the latest U.S. proposals interfered with the globalisation of the world economy and that China's support for a multilateral trade system would not change.

It also said that China would have to respond to the U.S. actions.

Some U.S. business groups and lawmakers from Trump's own Republican Party were critical of the escalating tariffs.

China slammed the latest USA tariff threat as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle and vowed Wednesday to protect its "core interests".

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobby group representing the largest USA retailers, said: "The president has broken his promise to bring 'maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers'".

China' s Ministry of Commerce said that the tariffs are "totally unacceptable" and it is hurting the entire world, as well as China.

"American families are the ones being punished".

"China has no option but to fight fire with fire".

Mr Trump has threatened to tax $550bn (£415bn) in Chinese products - exceeding America's total imports from China a year ago. This gave United States soybean farmers an opportunity to rush the product out of the country before the trade war kicked off in earnest, but also seriously shifted trade patterns for the crop.

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