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Saturday 11 July 2020

Trade war has cost China trillions of dollars, 3 million jobs

China and the US have been locked in a bitter trade war since last year, imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth billions of dollars

Washington: US President Donald Trump has claimed that China had lost trillions of dollars and three-million jobs due the tariffs the US administration had imposed against the country during the trade war. Trump asserted that the United States was doing very well against China, adding that the Chinese wanted to negotiate a trade deal “very badly”.

The top two economies of the world have been locked in a bitter trade war since last year, imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth billions of dollars. For the past 10 months, both the countries are negotiating a trade deal, but without any success.

“We have gained trillions of dollars… and China has lost many, many trillions of dollars, including 3 million jobs, including companies that are leaving China,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday. “We have to stop forced technology, international technology theft. If you look at what is going on intellectual property theft with China… our country is doing phenomenally well,” he said.

The president exuded confidence that the stock markets would hit a new high, denouncing reports about the possibility of a recession as “fake news”. “You know there’s a chance. I don’t want to talk about it, but over a very short period of time, we will hit a yet new record,” Trump said.

Earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that United States is the “bright spot” in the world, amid a slowdown of the Chinese and European economy.

China and the United States begun imposing additional tariffs on the goods of each other from 1 September which was the latest escalation in a bruising trade war despite signs that talks would resume sometime this month.

A new round of US tariffs on some Chinese goods and Chinese tariffs on US goods was scheduled to take effect. The Trump administration begun collecting 15% tariffs on more than $125 billion in Chinese imports, including smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones and many types of footwear.

As part of its retaliation begun imposing a 5% on US crude oil from 1 September, the first time US oil had been targeted since the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.

US President Donald Trump, last month, had said he was increasing existing and planned tariffs by 5% on about $550 billion worth of Chinese imports after Beijing had announced its own retaliatory tariffs on US goods.

Tariffs of 15% on cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing are to take effect on 15 December. The US Trade Representative’s Office said on Thursday it would collect public comments through 20 September on a planned tariff increase to 30% on a $250 billion list of goods already hit with a 25% tariff.

Trade teams from China and the United States continue to talk and will meet in September, but tariff increases on Chinese goods were not delayed. For two years, the Trump administration has sought to pressure China to make sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, forced transfers of technology to Chinese firms, industrial subsidies and market access.

China has consistently denied Washington’s accusations that it engages in unfair trade practices, vowing to fight back in kind and criticising US measures as protectionist. China has pressed the United States to cancel the tariff increase, but had said that a September round of talks was being discussed between the two.

The trade war further strains Beijing-Washington ties, already overshadowed by US freedom of navigation exercises near Chinese-occupied islands in the disputed South China Sea, and US support for self-ruled and democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

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