Trump administration cuts grants that help consumers get ACA coverage

The tariffs could take effect after public consultations end on August 30 according to a statement from the US Trade Representative’s office yesterday. — Reuters pic

The United States had just imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday, drawing immediate retaliatory duties from Beijing on US imports in the first shots of a heated trade war.

"Despite the serious economic consequences of ever-increasing tariffs, today there are no serious trade discussions occurring between the USA and China, no plans for trade negotiations anytime soon, and seemingly little action toward a solution", Brady said in a statement late Tuesday.

Trade rhetoric has been escalating between the US and the rest of the world, including key American allies.

Beijing has said it would hit back against Washington's escalating tariff measures, including through "qualitative measures", a threat that US businesses in China fear could mean anything from stepped-up inspections to delays in investment approvals and even consumer boycotts. In order to safeguard the core interests of the country and the fundamental interests of the people, the Chinese government will, as always, take the necessary counter-measures.

Tne Trump administration has announced additional China tariffs, say insiders.

China's stocks slumped following news of the new tariffs after three days of gains, and the yuan weakened.

There is a two-month period of public comment on the latest proposed list before the tariffs get imposed.

Although the trade war obviously remains front and centre in the minds of investors, another factor at play is the nagging worry that Trump may want to pull the US out of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) - a move that would represent a fundamental upheaval in the worldwide order, and have a huge impact on markets.

The economic impact of the conflict already is spreading.

China's assistant commerce minister Li Chenggang said earlier on Wednesday that the latest proposed tariffs harms the World Trade Organisation (WTO) system and hurts globalisation.

In turn, the soybean mad dash will likely provide a huge boost to to the second quarter US GDP, Shepherdson said. They have given no indication when they might meet again.

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House Ways and Means Committee chief Kevin Brady, of Texas, warned of "a long, multi-year trade war between the two largest economies in the world that engulfs more and more of the globe".

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 11, 2018.

Orrin Hatch, the Republican Senate Finance Chairman, condemned the move as "reckless" and not "targeted", while USA stock index futures fell in early Asian trading.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) was quick to condemn the proposal, saying it will punish American consumers.

China could also limit visits to the United States by Chinese tourists, a business state media said is worth $115 billion, or shed some of its U.S. Treasury holdings, Iris Pang, Greater China economist at ING in Hong Kong, wrote in a note.

The initial United States tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products in an attempt to limit the impact on American consumers.

This builds on 25 per cent tariffs on $US34 billion worth of Chinese imports into the US that took effect at midnight on Friday, and carries out US President Donald Trump's threat to respond to any Chinese retaliation to those taxes. The first round of tariffs covered Chinese products ranging from farming plows to machine tools and communications satellites.

"The internal political dynamics in both countries make it unlikely that either side will stand down and offer conciliatory measures that could deescalate tensions and lead to a resumption of negotiations", Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University, said in an email.

"The $200 billion figure we're looking at is roughly equal to their exports to us", the senior official said. A full-blown global trade war would shave 0.4 percentage point off world growth, according to Bloomberg Economics.

The US complains that China uses predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance.

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