Trump touts effectiveness of tariffs in string of tweets

06 August, 2018, 13:11 | Author: Eric Barnett
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But economists now worry that a continually widening trade deficit - which will be exacerbated if Trump keeps upping tariffs - will slow the USA economy in the second half of the year, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. trade gap is now on track to hit a ten-year high, despite a series of tariffs imposed on products and raw materials around the world by the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has issued temporary emergency financial support of $12 billion to help farmers hard-hit by China's retaliatory tariffs such as soybean farmers.

Michael Pillsbury, director of the Centre for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, said at an event in Beijing on Monday that despite the dispute between the USA and China, the relationship between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping was strong.

On March 1, President Donald Trump announced that the US would be slapping a 25 percent tariff on all steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports.

Earlier this week, the USA president told his top trade official to study whether to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from a planned 10 percent to 25 percent.

The US, the world's largest economy, has a trade deficit of nearly United States dollars 500 billion with China, the world's second largest economy.

Many economists say that Trump's focus on trade deficits is misguided and that large trade deficits simply show increased domestic demand. While he can not yet have it both ways, his tweets suggests he views tariffs as beneficial to the economy and in leveraging a better trade deal.

China's finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, ranging from 5 to 25 per cent.

Beijing warned on Friday that it was prepared to impose new tariffs on $60 billion worth of us goods if Washington ups the ante in the escalating U.S.

"China will not rush to compete with USA numbers", it said, echoing comments made by state television.

A flurry of articles in Chinese state media emphasised the resilience of China's economy and downplayed concerns about the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war.

Chinese leaders have offered to narrow their politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American goods.

More from U.S. After the earlier action against $34 billion of USA goods, that left about $120 billion available for retaliation. This makes the products more expensive and less attractive for USA consumers.

But Trump's Twitter posts Saturday evening reflected a much different mentality and suggest that the president prefers a much different strategy than one that resembles free trade.

Still, despite the data, Trump reiterated in a tweet Sunday that his tariffs are working "big time".

"It looks to me like the China economy is declining in growth", said Kudlow.


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