US-China trade war intensifies
26 September 2018
China has ruled out any further trade talks with the United States as long as the Trump administration continues to threaten and impose further tariffs on its exports.
The latest round of measures—the imposition of a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of goods, set to escalate to 25 percent next year—came into effect on Monday. Just an hour after the new tariffs were enacted the official Xinhua newsagency published a white paper setting out Beijing’s position.
“The door for trade talks is always open,” it stated, “but negotiations must be held in an environment of mutual respect” and could not be carried out under the threat of tariffs.
In addition to the escalation of the latest tariffs to a rate of 25 percent, Trump has also issued a threat to strike levies on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese goods, meaning that, if implemented, all of China’s exports would carry some form of tariff.
Tensions have been further heightened by the imposition of sanctions by the State Department on a Chinese military agency for its purchases of equipment from Russia in defiance of a unilateral ban imposed by the US over Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Speaking to Fox News last Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear that the US intends to escalate its actions, saying that Trump was not starting a trade war but engaging in one that was already underway. The Trump administration considers that since China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001 it has benefited to the detriment of the US.
“The trade war by China against the United States has been going on for years,” Pompeo said. “To the extent one wants to call this a trade war, we are determined…