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Markets slide as Trump threatens fresh tariffs on Chinese imports

Tuesday June 19, 2018 8:38 PM, & Agencies

US China Trade War

Washington: Disappointed to see China not cowering down, US President Donald Trump on Monday asked the US Trade Representative to prepare new tariffs worth $200 billion on Chinese imports, a move which has sent shockwaves across global markets.

"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology," Trump said in a statement Monday announcing the new action.

"Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong", he added.

The tariffs, which Trump wants set at a 10 percent rate, would be the latest round of punitive measures in an escalating dispute over the large trade imbalance between the two countries. Trump recently ordered tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods in retaliation for intellectual property theft. The tariffs were quickly matched by China on U.S. exports, a move that drew the president's ire, according to Associated Press.

"These tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced", he said.

China Hits Back

The Chinese hit back at the US president, accusing him of "blackmail".

China said it will be forced to adopt retaliatory measures combining quantity and quality if the US indeed went ahead to issue a list of tariffs on lines of Trump's announcement to raise additional tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion with a rate of 10 per cent, according to a report published by China Global Television Network (CGTN).

China's Commerce Ministry also criticized the latest threat of tariffs, saying it was an "act of extreme pressure and blackmail that deviates from the consensus reached by both parties after many negotiations, and is a disappointment to the international community."

"If the U.S. becomes irrational and issues this list, China will have no choice but to adopt strong countermeasures of the same amount and quality," the ministry statement issued on Tuesday said.

“The United States has initiated a trade war and violated market regulations, and is harming the interests of not just the people of China and the U.S., but of the world", the ministry said.

Markets Slide

The MSCI world equity index which tracks shares in 47 countries, fell 0.37pc, nearing a seven-day low. US stock markets fell sharply on Tuesday morning, following similar drops across the world, as investors feared that escalating tensions could trigger an international trade war.

The UK's FTSE-100 was flat for the session. Germany's DAX was down 1.3pc and France's CAC-40 declined 0.9pc, according to Reuters.

Some of the US’s biggest exporters were among those most affected. Boeing dropped 3% and construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar shed 2.7%. Tech companies, too, felt the pinch with Apple down 1.5%, according to the Guardian.

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