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News from China
China firmly opposes US tariff proposals, counter measures underway
4th April 2018

 China strongly condemns and firmly opposes the US tariff proposals and is ready to take countermeasures on US products, the Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday.

 
A MOC spokesperson made the statement after the US administration announced a proposed list of products subject to additional tariffs, which covers Chinese exports worth US$50 billion with a suggested tariff rate of 25 percent.
 
"Disregarding strong representations by China, the United States announced the tariff proposals that are completely unfounded, a typical unilateralist and protectionist practice that China strongly condemns and firmly opposes," according to the statement.
 
The US side published the list in disregard of the mutually beneficial and win-win nature of the China-US commercial cooperation in the past 40 years, the appeal of the Chinese and American business communities and the interests of consumers, it said.
 
The move went against the interests of China, the United States and the world economy, seriously violating the basic principles and spirit of the World Trade Organization.
 
China plans to immediately bring relevant US practice to the dispute settlement body of the WTO, and is ready to take countermeasures on US products with equal force and scale that will be published in the coming days.
 
"We have the confidence and ability to respond to any US trade protectionist measures," the spokesperson said.
 
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang also made a response on Wednesday, saying the US tariff proposals are "typical unilateralist and protectionist action."
 
China strongly condemns and firmly opposes such action, Lu said.
 
Despite strong warnings from business groups and trade experts, US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on March 22 that could impose tariffs on Chinese imports and restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States.
 
The memorandum is based on a Section 301 investigation, launched by the Trump administration in August 2017, into alleged Chinese intellectual property and technology transfer practices.
 
The move came after the US administration took an increasingly hawkish turn on China, as it blamed its trade deficit with major trading partners for its domestic economic woes and job losses.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, April 4, 2018
Canada to work with Shanghai to tap opportunities in financial technologies
3rd April 2018

 Canada will seek to collaborate with Shanghai to tap investment opportunities in the new economy like financial technologies as the city strives to become a global technological innovation hub, William Bill Morneau, minister of finance, said on his visit to Shanghai today.

 
Shanghai and Hong Kong were added as stops for the first time this year as the relationship with China and the entire Asia-Pacific Region is a priority for the government of Canada. Shanghai's capital market presents great opportunities and China’s futures market has potential, Morneau said.
 
The minister said that four of Canada’s top five trading partners are members of APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, with China its second largest trading partner after the US. 
 
Earlier this month, the country launched a new federal agency called “Invest in Canada”, which will simplify the process for global businesses to make Canada their home.
 
More regular meetings will be held with government officials as well as business community leaders and Canada will increase the number of trade commissioners based in China, Morneau said.
 
Canada also aims to expand its relationship with China to other areas like education and tourism.
 
Morneau said he sees enormous growth opportunities for travel between the two countries as 2018 is the year of tourism between Canada and China.
Source: Shanghai Daily, April 3, 2018
China imposes tariff on 128 items of US imports
2nd April 2018

 China suspended tariff concessions on 128 items of US products including pork and fruits starting Monday, according to the Ministry of Finance.

 
The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to impose a tariff of 15 percent on 120 items of products imported from the United States including fruits and related products, and a tariff of 25 percent on eight items of imports including pork and related products from the country, according to a statement posted on the ministry website.
 
The statement said it was a countermeasure in response to a previous US move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
 
Despite worldwide objections, the US administration decided to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, with tariffs on imports from countries including China.
 
Although in violation of WTO rules, the US measure went into effect in March 23, which has severely undermined China's interests, according to the statement.
 
China advocates and supports a multilateral trade system, the ministry said, noting that to suspend tariff concession on US imports is a just move to safeguard China's interests using WTO rules.
Source: Shanghai Daily, April 2, 2018
China not culprit in US trade stance
30th March 2018

 China’s Ministry of Commerce said the United States should not use China as an excuse for American protectionist policies.

 
All appropriate measures will be taken by China to defend its interests, ministry spokesman Gao Feng reiterated at a regular press briefing yesterday.
 
“China urges the United States to stop its unilateralism and trade protectionist practices,” Gao said.
 
In response to a question that China’s opening-up of its markets had not matched American expectations, Gao said China has fulfilled its commitments in a serious and comprehensive manner, and its markets had continued to open up since the country joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
 
China’s overall tariff levels have been reduced from 15.3 percent to 9.8 percent, fulfilling the commitments to all the WTO members and exceeding WTO’s requirements for developing members.
 
If considering the factors of the trade structure, China’s real trade-weighted average tax rate is only 4.4 percent, which is very close to that of developed countries, Gao said.
 
He said America’s trade-weighted actual import tariff rate is 2.4 percent, and that of the European Union and Australia are 3 percent and 4 percent respectively.
 
Besides, he added, China has voluntarily reduced import duties on some goods in recent years, further lowering import tariffs for 201 information technology products.
 
“What I want to stress is that a series of measures adopted by the US on China’s economic and trade issues are typical trade protectionism,” Gao said. “It is out of the Cold War mentality and zero-sum mentality of the US, and China should not be taken as an excuse of this.”
 
In 2017, China’s total foreign trade in goods exceeded US$4.1 trillion, of which exports to the US accounted for 14.1 percent. And China’s foreign non-financial direct investment was US$120 billion, with US$7.8 billion being invested in the US, accounting for 6.5 percent.
 
“China is confident that it is able to cope with any form of trade or investment protectionist practices,” Gao said.
 
He emphasized that China urges the US to stop its trade protectionist legislation, which is a “flagrant violation” of WTO rules and shows contempt and trampling of multilateral rules.
 
It could also trigger trade protectionism elsewhere, casting a shadow over the resurgent global economy, Gao said.
 
China released a list of suspension of concessions products, hitting back against the US’s Section 232 investigations into aluminum and steel imports. The official implementation time will be announced after a public consultation period ends tomorrow.
 
China does not want a trade war with the US, but has no fear if there is one, Gao said.
 
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on CNBC on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods will not be imposed until June.
 
“We’ll announce them before very long and then we’ll go through a 60-day period where we’ll give the public a chance to comment on the good and the bad things in there,” Lighthizer said. 
 
He added “there is hope” that trade talks between the US and China could lead to a fruitful outcome when he was asked whether negotiations between Washington and Beijing could avoid a tariff war.
 
Meanwhile, the China Iron and Steel Association has expressed its hope to better communicate with industrial associations and companies in the European Union and elsewhere in order to maintain stability in the world steel market.
 
The statement from CISA came after the EU also began a probe into imported steel. The EU decision will add to market anxiety and instability, in a situation already complicated by the US action.
 
Chinese steel manufacturers have been reducing their production capacity, and the global steel market is recovering. “The measures taken by the United States and the EU could cause chaos,” said Liu Zhenjiang, CISA secretary-general.
 
“We hope the EU will evaluate the impact of US tariffs and take measures prudently,” said Liu.
 
CISA also urged the Chinese government to take measures to prevent the domestic market from being hurt by imported steel and protect the interests of local steel manufacturers.
 
The US government’s decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum “goes against the rules of the World Trade Organization and disrupts international trade order,” said Liu. 
 
The US move damages not only the world iron and steel industry, but also the interests of consumers, especially American consumers, he said. 
 
The industrial group noted that the steel trade has caused most China-US trade friction in the past few years.
 
Even before the US started its Section 232 investigation, dozens of anti-dumping and countervailing measures had been imposed on Chinese steel products. 
 
On March 19, the US International Trade Commission terminated an investigation into Chinese steel products for violation of antitrust laws. “After 20 months of hard efforts, we won the case by proving all three allegations to be insubstantial,” said a CISA statement at the time.
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 30, 2018

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