China's Xi Jinping Pledges To Cut Auto Tariffs Amid US Trade Clash


"We call on the global business community including the United States industrial and commercial circles to take prompt and effective measures and urge the U.S. government to correct its errors", it said.

Trump says: "It's not nice when they hit the farmers specifically because they think that hits me".

"But I tell you, our farmers are great patriots. They understand that they're doing this for the country and we'll make it up to them".

The speech came on the same day that Beijing filed a complaint with the Geneva-based World Trade Organization opposing USA tariffs on steel and aluminum.

China retaliated by unveiling planned levies on US$50 billion worth of major United States exports including soybeans, cars and small aircraft. The U.S. sold about $130 billion in goods to China in 2017 and faces a potentially devastating hit if China responds in kind.

Trump also warned China that threats to raise tariffs on American agricultural products, in an attempt to hurt a constituency that provided some of his strongest political support, would backfire.

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On Tuesday the United States Trade Representative (USTR) experienced suggested 25 percent tariffs on over 1,300 Chinese industrial and other products from flatpanel televisions to electronic components. Beijing says the levies breach global trade rules.

The comments sent US stock futures, the dollar and Asian shares higher.

The biggest beneficiaries of a cut in China's 25 percent tariff on most auto imports will be the handful of automakers such as electric vehicle brand Tesla that have no factory in China.

In a Twitter post on Sunday, Trump echoed this, saying "China will take down its trade barriers because it is the right thing to do". But even as Trump cozied up to Xi and pressed China for help with derailing North Korea's nuclear ambitions, he has ratcheted up the economic pressure and threatened tariffs, a move opposed by many fellow Republicans.

As seen in the chart below from Westpac Bank, China's trade surplus with the United States has ballooned over the past decade as exports to the USA grew substantially faster than imports heading in the other direction.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about taxation reform in a trip to White Sulphur Springs, in West Virginia, " U.S., April 5, 2018.

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But he also downplayed the tariff threat as "part of the process", suggesting on CNN that the impact would be "benign" and said he was hopeful that China would enter negotiations. Kudlow, who started his job a week ago after his predecessor, Gary Cohn, quit over the tariff plan, brushed aside the possibility of economic repercussions.

"I don't think there's any trade war in sight", Kudlow told Fox.

As a proxy for trade war concerns, there are few better financial indicators out there than movements in the Australian dollar-Japanese yen cross.

Last month, the United States filed a WTO complaint accusing Beijing of violating its trade pledges by imposing unfair contract terms and allowing companies to use foreign-owned technology after licensing periods expire.

In the wake of Trump's decision in March to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, primarily to target China, the U.S. on Tuesday published a list of US$50 billion in Chinese goods to be hit by tariffs over what Washington says is widespread theft of intellectual property and technology. Rather than waiting weeks for the US tariffs to be implemented, Trump backed a plan by Robert Lighthizer, his trade representative, to seek the enhanced tariffs.

Further escalation could be in the offing.

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