China tariffs: Losers outnumber winners in this trade war

TRADE WAR Neither Xi nor Trump will back down

"Fellas, we already lost the trade war".

"If someone wants a trade war, we will fight to the end", Wang Shouwen, China's commerce vice minister, said at a press conference Wednesday announcing the move. Since the USA and China have the world's biggest trading relationship, the tariff war will help neither of the countries.

When Trump announced the first round of tariffs on China, it was seen as a declaration of a trade war - a progressive effort by the two nations to damage each other economically, mainly through taxes and trade restrictions.

He's also instructed his secretary of agriculture "to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests".

Trump, citing the USA trade deficit with China, appeared to argue that going head to head wouldn't be so bad.

"While the affected Malaysian industries such as the solar, steel and aluminium products can still cope with the recent hike in tariffs, we should immediately apply for exemption failing which the government should support multilateral moves to ease trade tension and forge new trade pacts to offset the expected decline of exports to the United States as tariff hikes will result in higher prices and consequently lower demand in the USA economy".

The public has until May 11 to submit comments on the proposed list of USA tariffs, with a hearing scheduled for May 15.

Most Asian stock markets turned higher Friday as investors brushed off initial worries about the Trump administration's latest threats of yet more tariffs on Chinese imports, indicating concerns were easing about a brewing trade battle between the world's two biggest economies.

A senior Chinese finance official has warned that attempts by foreign countries to pressure China on trade will fail, striking a firm note as Beijing announced proposed tariff hikes on American goods in response to planned USA duties.

Trump has instructed the USA trade representative to consider slapping $100 billion United States in additional tariffs on Chinese goods. "We can not let this continue!". He later tweeted: "When you're already $500 Billion DOWN, you can't lose!"

Furthermore, if China shifts a significant portion of its demand to Brazil and Argentina, two other major exporters, those countries' usual customers will have to buy USA beans.

Beijing's list of 25% additional tariffs on USA goods covers 106 items with a trade value matching the $50 billion targeted on Washington's list, China's Commerce and Finance Ministries said.

He also said Mr. Trump isn't bluffing.

Some of Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress have anxious that the tariffs will hurt states that export farm products.

"Her imports of her clothing line would not be affected by the USA tariffs [Trump announced Tuesday]", Robinson said.

China, by contrast, has unique tools to counteract USA tariffs, according to analysts.

The Trump administration continued to send mixed signals about the potential for a trade war.

"For the past two years at least, China has filed for more patents ... than any other country", says Wang. If the USA carries out its threat of new tariffs, "China has already made ample preparations and will respond forcefully and without hesitation", he said.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman has urged the come to the table and discuss an escalating trade dispute.