President Trump threatens further tariffs on China: Trade war in the offing

President Trump threatens further tariffs on China: Trade war in the offing

Chika Mori and Sawako Uchida

Modern Tokyo Times

Political elites in China seem to be waking up to the possibility of a growing rift over trade with America. At first, it seemed that President Trump of America might act in a more limited way. However, with China refusing to meekly abide by the objectives of the Trump administration, then a slippery slope is emerging whereby both nations may miscalculate.

Trump announced last week that tariffs of 25 percent would be imposed on Chinese goods to the value of $50 billion dollars. China fired back by stating that this threat would lead to China imposing a similar tax on many products emanating from America to a similar value. Hence, political elites in Beijing will target products from America in the field of agriculture, cars, marine products, and other areas.

The response by China was mocked immediately by the Trump administration and now a spiral is threatening to emerge. Trump uttered, China isn’t addressing its “unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology.”

Of course, the issue of intellectual property rights is nothing new, and the same applies to a mega trade deficit between both nations. Yet, with China failing to comply without retaliating, then Trump seeks to up the ante against this nation.

Lee Jay Walker, at Modern Tokyo Times, says, “Trump is now threatening a major increase in tariffs on China. This applies to possible new tariffs being imposed on Chinese products for the sum of $200 US billion dollars. The leader of America is adamant that political elites in Beijing must “change its practices.” If not, then the Trump administration will escalate until China backs down. However, it remains to be seen if further pressure on China will garner a compromise – or if the slippery slope of a trade war will emerge to a level that will negatively impact on the economies of both nations.”

Trump stipulated, If China increases its tariffs yet again, we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200bn of goods.”

The Commerce Ministry of China responded by stating, If the US acts irrationally and issues a list, China will have no choice but to take comprehensive measures of a corresponding number and quality and take strong, powerful countermeasures.”

The BBC reports, The White House says China encourages transfer of intellectual property – design and product ideas – to Chinese companies, through measures such as requiring that foreign firms share ownership with local partners to access the Chinese market.”

It remains to be seen if America and China can find a way out of the crisis in the short-term. Equally, the Trump administration is focused on other nations, including close allies that are deemed to be abusing the goodwill of America. Therefore, market volatility will continue based on the threat of a trade war between the leading economic powers of America and China.  

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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