China ham­mers US prod­ucts with tar­iffs as ‘sparks’ fly in trade war

Bei­jing’s warn­ing: ‘Don’t open Pan­dora’s box of pro­tec­tion­ism’

Arab News - - BUSINESS -

ef­fec­tive from April 2.

“China’s sus­pen­sion of its tar­iff con­ces­sions is a le­git­i­mate ac­tion adopted un­der WTO rules to safe­guard China’s in­ter­ests,” the Chi­nese fi­nance min­istry said.

The re­tal­ia­tory tar­iffs came amid es­ca­lat­ing trade ten­sions be­tween Bei­jing and Wash­ing­ton, which have rocked global fi­nan­cial mar­kets in the past week as in­vestors feared a full-blown trade dis­pute be­tween two coun­tries will be dam­ag­ing for world growth.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is sep­a­rately pre­par­ing to im­pose tar­iffs of more than $50 bil­lion on Chi­nese goods in­tended to pun­ish Bei­jing over US ac­cu­sa­tions that China sys­tem­at­i­cally mis­ap­pro­pri­ated Amer­i­can in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty — al­le­ga­tions Bei­jing de­nies.

China has re­peat­edly promised to open its economy fur­ther, but many for­eign com­pa­nies con­tinue to com­plain of un­fair treat­ment. China warned the US on Thurs­day not to open a Pan­dora’s box and spark a flurry of pro­tec­tion­ist prac­tices across the globe.

“There are some peo­ple in the West who think that China looks tough for the sake of a do­mes­tic au­di­ence, and would eas­ily make con­ces­sions in the end,” the Global Times ed­i­to­rial said.

“But they are wrong.”

The Global Times is run by the rul­ing Com­mu­nist Party’s of­fi­cial Peo­ple’s Daily, al­though its stance does not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pol­icy.

In a state­ment pub­lished on Mon­day, the Chi­nese com­merce min­istry said the US had “se­ri­ously vi­o­lated” the prin­ci­ples of nondis­crim­i­na­tion en­shrined in WTO rules, and had also dam­aged China’s in­ter­ests.

“China’s sus­pen­sion of some of its obli­ga­tions to the United States is its le­git­i­mate right as a mem­ber of the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion,” it said, adding that dif­fer­ences be­tween the world’s two largest economies should be re­solved through di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tion.

CRUNCH TIME: Im­ported nuts and other food­stuffs from the US face tar­iffs of up to 25 per­cent un­der re­tal­ia­tory mea­sures an­nounced by Bei­jing. (AP)

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