China Jolted by US Tariffs on Chinese Imports

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg

Last year, more US crude oil was sent to China than any other destination except Canada, the EIA said in an analysis on Tuesday. Chinese tariffs have already impacted US exports such as soybeans.

The latest move suggests that Trump - who in March declared that "trade wars are good and easy to win" - may be compromising on his pledge to spare consumers from the pain.

The US has already indicated that it is prepared to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of goods, on top of those targeted in Tuesday's announcement, with Trump saying that as much as $500 billion could be hit-the value of all Chinese exports to the US.

Other products that would be affected include window-mounted air conditioners, Christmas lights, vehicle parts, refrigerators and roughly $350 million of frozen tilapia filets, according to data from Panjiva. The day's strong flows into the dollar/yen trade continued a trend that began after the United States last week reported decent employment data and a pick-up in wages.

"A tariff is a tax and in today's global economy.American manufacturers are simply tied to suppliers from outside the USA for their competitiveness.So when we tax those imports, we're taxing American manufacturers, not to mention consumers, and that heavily handicaps our own manufacturers". David Lassoff, a company manager for California-based Incredible Gifts, is stockpiling the hats because importers have told him that the MAGA hats might be affected by the tariffs. "Tariffs threaten to boomerang on the very workers they're supposed to help, and will only further undermine the confidence manufacturers need to make investments in new equipment, facilities and people".

For now, Lassoff is hoping that the big companies that sell them, like Walmart and Amazon, are lobbying against the tariffs. Nor have there been noticeable political consequences, though some Republican senators have sharply criticized the administration's embrace of tariffs.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobby group representing the largest U.S. retailers, said: "The president has broken his promise to bring 'maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers'".

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In the same city, Shenzhen BCLH Science & Technology Co. chose to forgo a price rise to cover the tariffs, and effectively cut United States profits to near zero, in the hope that the trade war is short. "The economic fallout of such measures could be material for the global economy".

According to Reuters, there has still been some critical coverage of the U.S.as the two nations exchange massive tariffs, but the criticism has largely not been directed at Trump the individual. It would actually give Trump what he wants!

"By doing this, the United States is hurting China, hurting the whole world, and hurting itself".

U.S. officials released a list of 6,031 Chinese product lines the administration wants to hit with the new tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminum.

Still, the indirect effects could be greater, he said. And the stock market could retreat, thereby reducing Americans' wealth and ability to spend.

Not all analysts viewed trade tensions as a hindrance to the dollar. "Something as simple as ball bearings - the prices are going up", said University of Denver Professor John Holcomb. "As an industry that touches 96 percent of all manufactured goods and which has much to gain from a productive, respectful trading relationship with China, ACC and our members remain hopeful that the USA and China can resolve their differences and prevent further harm to US manufacturers, farmers, and consumers". But other items, like hand tools, lamps or fans, could be affected. "It has to resolutely fight back while taking proper measures to help minimize the cost to domestic enterprises and further open up its economy to global investors", it said.

"The costs of higher producer prices are eventually passed along to consumers", Ikenson says.

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