Mnuchin Offers China Yet Another Chance to Negotiate Ahead of Tariffs

Marco Green
September 13, 2018

A survey from AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai found that almost two-thirds of more than 430 US firms in China say the tariffs Trump placed on billions of dollars of Chinese goods this summer have hurt their businesses. They plan events in Chicago, Nashville, Pennsylvania and OH starting next week, according to a statement posted on a new website.

"Every sector of the USA economy stands to lose in a trade war", Matthew Shay, who heads the National Retail Federation, said in the statement. "The stakes couldn't be higher for American families, businesses, farmers and workers threatened by job losses and higher prices as a result of tit-for-tat tariffs".

Chinese stocks traded on USA exchanges went from modest losses to modest gains after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration will open a new round of trade talks with China before imposing additional tariffs.

The largest American business groups in China issued a plea to President Trump on Thursday: Please stop with the tariffs.

American businesses can not replace numerous import products due to lack of skilled labor or available supply chain and would have to absorb the cost of tariffs or pass them on to customers. "The US administration will be hurting the companies it should be helping". More than half of U.S. firms are already feeling Beijing's wrath from non-tariff measures like heightened regulatory scrutiny, more inspections and slower customs clearance, according to the survey.

China welcomed on Thursday a United States offer to hold fresh trade talks, adding that the two are discussing the details and providing some hope the world's top economies could step back from the brink of an all-out trade war.

Trump and his advisers have argued that the tariffs are necessary to pressure Beijing to abandon unfair practices.

"We support President Trump's efforts to reset U.S". But the Chinese government has thus far refused to budge on the White House's demands and vowed to retaliate against every American punch. "But we can do so through means other than blanket tariffs".

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. The list includes industrial parts, chemicals and medical instruments.

But Larry Kudlow, head of the White House Economic Council, said Wednesday on the Fox Business Network that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited senior Chinese officials to rekindle the talks.

More than 60% of U.S. companies polled said the USA tariffs were already affecting their business operations, while a similar percentage said tariffs by China on United States goods were having an effect on business.

The majority of American companies in China say they are hurting from the escalating trade spat, reporting increased costs, lower profits and stepped-up scrutiny, according to an American Chamber of Commerce in China survey released Thursday. He has repeatedly vocalized his discontent with the massive, multi-billion dollar USA trade deficit with China.

Earlier in Vladivostok, Russia on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Eastern Economic Forum, Xi Jinping praised China's stable and improving ties with Russia, while both he and Vladimir Putin criticized "protectionist trade policies" without mentioning Trump by name, reports the Guardian.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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