Extent of US-China trade fight depends on Trump's goals

Extent of US-China trade fight depends on Trump's goals

Extent of US-China trade fight depends on Trump's goals

China typically buys nearly all its beans from the U.S.in February, but Brazil has been grabbing a bigger share of the lucrative Chinese market with competitive prices over the past year.

But Mnuchin said Sunday he's optimistic the USA can reach an agreement with China that will forestall the need to impose the tariffs that Trump has ordered. The possibility of a trade war have weighed on the energy complex on fears that it could harm oil demand.

It's not clear when the China tariffs will take effect.

Mr Trump repeated last week that he wants a US$100 billion reduction in China's trade surplus, while his top trade negotiator, Mr Robert Lighthizer, said fundamental changes that allow U.S. companies to keep their technological edge over Chinese competitors were critical to the future of the United States economy.

Last week, the president proved that his seriousness about trade includes China. "Any disruptions will harm USA soybean farmers, too". U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is reportedly considering a visit to Beijing to advance the talks.

A deal for the latter will not come in the next 45 days before the yet-to-be published USA tariff list becomes effective.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the Trump administration wants to increase sales of USA cars and semiconductors in China as part of a plan to cut the bilateral trade deficit with China - estimated to be about $375 billion - by $100 billion.

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The comment was welcomed by Jake Parker, vice president of China operations at the U.S.

"As a major WTO member and an important power in global trade, the European Union should fight against protectionism in cooperation with other members, instead of resorting to actions that impair global trade order", he said. "Even the U.S. Trade Representative's Office lists U.S. apple exports to China as one of the country's top export success stories", he continued.

Says Preston: "We have already seen the USA walk back the scope of recently announced steel and aluminum tariffs by exempting more countries, suggesting that [last] week's announcement is an opening gambit".

China could also inflict pain on US multinationals that rely on China for a substantial - and growing - portion of their total revenues, said Alex Wolf, senior emerging markets economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

"Relevant countries should obey worldwide law and basic norms of global relations and avoid further escalating confrontations", said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying at a press conference. It said American market-opening requests as a possible condition of a settlement covered the auto, finance and semiconductor industries.

"We are full of confidence and the capability to defend our legitimate and lawful interests under any circumstances", said Hua.

The U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have drawn widespread criticism and sparked fears that metals markets elsewhere will be oversupplied after the United States slams its door.

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