Stop ‘wrong’ trade actions or face consequences: China warns US
US and Chinese flags are seen in front of a US dollar banknote featuring American founding father Benjamin Franklin and a China's yuan banknote featuring late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong in this illustration picture taken May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Illustration/File Photo
China said on Aug 25 it strongly opposes Washington’s decision to levy additional tariffs on USD550 billion worth of Chinese goods and warned the United States of consequences if it does not end its “wrong actions”.
The comments made by China’s Ministry of Commerce came after the US President Donald Trump announced on Aug 23 that Washington will impose an additional 5% duty the Chinese goods, hours after Beijing announced its latest retaliatory tariffs on about USD75 billion worth of US goods, in the latest tit-for-tat moves in their bilateral trade dispute.
“Such unilateral and bullying trade protectionism and maximum pressure violates the consensus reached by head of China and United States, violates the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit, and seriously damages the multilateral trade system and the normal international trade order,” China’s commerce ministry said in a statement on Aug 25.
“China strongly urges the United States not to misjudge the situation or underestimate determination of the Chinese people,” it added.
Trump’s latest tariff move, announced on Twitter, said the US would raise its existing tariffs on USD 250 billion worth of Chinese imports to 30% from the current 25% beginning on Oct 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the communist People’s Republic of China.
At the same time, Trump announced an increase in planned tariffs on the remaining USD 300 billion worth of Chinese goods to 15% from 10%. The US will begin imposing those tariffs on some products starting Sept. 1, but tariffs on about half of those goods have been delayed until Dec 15.
Trump was responding to Beijing’s decision on Friday night that it was planning to impose retaliatory tariff on USD 75 billion worth of US imports ranging from soybean to ethanol. China will also reinstitute tariffs of 25% on cars and 5% on auto parts suspended last December.
This prompted Trump to order American companies out of China has claimed that has the 'absolute right' to order companies to stop doing business with China that would involve using his broad executive authority in a new and unprecedented way under a 1977 law.
He told reporters while boarding Air Force One on Friday night that: 'I have the absolute right to do that, but we’ll see how it goes.'
Trump then got on Twitter to explain: 'For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!'
The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) can gives Trump the 'authority to regulate a variety of economic transactions following a declaration of national emergency' according to an analysis by the CRS.
Those presidential powers can be used 'to deal with any unusual and extraordinary threat… to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.'
The White House economic adviser said earlier in the week the Trump administration was planning in-person talks between US and Chinese officials in September. It is unclear if the bilateral meeting would still take place.
The year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies has roiled financial markets and shaken the global economy.