China has accused the US of “trade bullyism [sic]” and insisted it is not afraid to fight a tariff war after Donald Trump approved $200 billion in duties.
In its white paper ‘The Facts and China’s Position on China-US Trade Friction’, Beijing describes US trade practices as being “the greatest source of uncertainty and risk for the recovery of the global economy”.
The latest round of US tariffs came into force on September 24, 2018, and were set at 10% until the end of the year, after which they will increase to 25%.
China has responded by setting tariffs of $60 billion on US goods, which has goaded Trump to retaliate with a threat of further duties worth $267 billion.
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In its white paper, China says the US has undermined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and claimed it is “intimidating other countries through economic measures”, and “provoking trade frictions worldwide”.
It predicts the trade war will undermine US interests as many supply chain firms’ margins are too thin to withstand duties of 25%, and that 624,000 jobs could be lost if other countries retaliate.
China also claims that consumers will also suffer as importing goods from abroad becomes more expensive, with the car industry likely to be particularly affected.
The white papers stated: “The new US administration has practiced unilateralism and economic hegemony, abandoned its international commitments, and provoked international trade friction around the world.
“This has not only undermined the interests of China and other countries, but also jeopardized the international reputation of the US itself.
“And above all, it has shaken the foundations of the global multilateral trading regime, which will ultimately hurt the long-term interests of the US.
“Without WTO authorization, the US has illegally imposed punitive, hefty tariffs on other WTO members, which is a serious breach of the most fundamental and central WTO rules and disciplines, including the most-favored-nation treatment and tariff binding. Such unilateralist actions have harmed the interests of China and other WTO members.”