Economy

USA delays tariffs but lift to China's steel mart scant

USA delays tariffs but lift to China's steel mart scant

The U.S. -China trade war escalated further Thursday after China's government stated it will take all "necessary counter-measures" in reaction to the new round of tariffs announced by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration.

Australian shares are set to rebound this morning after US President Donald Trump backed off his plan to impose further tariffs on some Chinese goods from September 1.

While some of the duties will take effect September 1 as planned, certain products are being removed from the list "based on health, safety, national security and other factors", the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) office said in a statement.

Trump announced the new tariffs this month, after which China halted purchases of agricultural goods and allowed the yuan to weaken.

It's unlikely, however, that this is more than a tactical reprieve, as the Trump White House continues to dig in over "America First" and its allegations against Chinese tech firms including Huawei and ZTE being a risk to national security.

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The US had already slapped a 25 per cent tariff on a separate United States dollars 250 billion of Chinese imports. Mobile phones, computers, and video game consoles, among others, will not be taxed until December 15, allowing United States companies to stock up for Christmas holidays.

However, increases on other products will go ahead on September 1 as planned. The decision, according to the USTR, is part of a "public hearing" process that began after the announcement earlier this month, during which hundreds of companies testified that the new tax could seriously harm their business operations. He said he has a call scheduled soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but he did not say when. This was recognized on Tuesday by President Trump himself. Further, they found, "the effects of the tariffs have spilled over noticeably to the prices charged by U.S. producers competing with tariff-affected goods".

China will take "necessary action" to counter the USA tariffs on China-made goods, the Ministry said Thursday, stressing that new restrictions would "violate a consensus" reached by Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump on ending the trade war. The list of items that won't targeted until mid-December includes Christmas festivities, Christmas tree lights and ornaments among others.

"We do a lot of analyses, and the important thing is that you're trying to judge people's reactions", such as what China would do to retaliate, said Ross. As others falter, we will only get stronger. We'll see what happens.


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