US firms in China feeling 'clear and far reaching' trade war pinch

Irving Hamilton
September 13, 2018

The Trump administration has invited Chinese officials to restart trade talks, the White House's top economic adviser said on Wednesday, as Washington prepares to escalate the US-China trade war with tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. They plan events in Chicago, Nashville, Pennsylvania and OH starting next week, according to a statement posted on a new website. He has also ramped up attacks on China, threatening auto import levies and pushing for a more pro-American North American Free Trade Agreement, even at the risk of killing the three-country pact.

On the campaign trail, Trump threatened tariffs and ending participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership, a large multinational trade pact, and has delivered on those promises. The White House is pushing tariffs as a powerful negotiating tool for winning what it says are better trade deals for all Americans. The new border taxes are expected to take effect this fall.

The U.S. later imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum to the U.S. on the basis of national security.

United States companies in China say they are already feeling the pain from the trade war. "The US administration will be hurting the companies it should be helping".

More than 52% of respondents to the survey reported already suffering the consequences of such measures, mainly through increased inspections, slower customs clearance and "other complications from increased bureaucratic oversight or regulatory scrutiny".

While not engaging in electioneering ahead of November 6 mid-term elections where control of Congress is at stake, it will urge constituents to discuss the trade issue with lawmakers, hoping they will convince Trump to abandon tariffs.

"We support President Trump's efforts to reset U.S".

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Trump seeks to close what he has slammed as a hulking trade deficit. But the Chinese government has thus far refused to budge on the White House's demands and vowed to retaliate against every American punch.

If the president follows through with his threat to expand the commercial battle by fourfold, Beijing has said it will slap levies of up to 25 percent on 5,207 types of American imports. "Our view is that it's not too late", said Dean Garfield, chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council, whose members include Microsoft Corp, Google owner Alphabet Inc and Apple Inc.

Chinese officials have called the targets "measured and restrained" and repeatedly declared the United States has forced Beijing to take actions that will ultimately hurt both countries.

The timing and location of the proposed meeting were unclear, the sources familiar with the matter said. China has made its own threats of retaliation against the US, issuing tariffs on USA exports to China.

As of June 30, almost 450 entities employed lobbyists on trade issues - up from about 160 at the start of the year and about 100 when Trump took office, according to lobbying-disclosure reports compiled by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other senior USA officials recently sent a letter to Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and the officials' Chinese counterparts, offering to hold another bilateral trade meeting, the Wall Street Journal reported. He has repeatedly vocalized his discontent with the massive, multi-billion dollar USA trade deficit with China.

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