Commerce: Donald Trump prepares measures against China

The american president Donald Trump during a visit to the air base Miramar, march 13, 2018 in San Diego, California (Photo MANDEL NGAN. AFP)

Donald Trump will soon go on the offensive against China by taxing heavily on imports from that country, accused of stealing the intellectual property of american companies and heavily subsidize its exports.

His advisor in matters of commercial policy, Peter Navarro, confirmed on Thursday that the u.s. president “will be in the next few weeks on his desk” of the “recommendations” in this sense.

They are currently being developed by the special representative for Trade Robert Lighthizer, who was open in August 2017, in an investigation under section 301 of the arsenal trade in the u.s. on alleged violations of intellectual property rights.

Washington is particularly concerned at the system of joint ventures imposed by Beijing to american companies: in return for access to the chinese market, these firms are obliged to share with local partners a part of their technological know-how.

Mr. Trump, in a war against the trade deficit, which destroyed, according to him, jobs and american companies, is considering to impose on Beijing the customs fees on a volume of imports equivalent to $ 60 billion, were reported by american media.

Others refer to less than half, but also restrictive measures against chinese investment and the visas granted to students, researchers and managers.

In 2017, the imports of chinese goods in the United States amounted to some 505 billion and the trade deficit (excluding services) amounted to $ 375 billion.

The taxes being considered would be targeted in particular areas of technology and telecommunications. And a hundred of chinese products would be affected, has further indicated to the AFP a source close to the discussions.

Larry Kudlow, the new economic adviser to Trump appointed on Wednesday, has pointed out just after the announcement of his appointment that “China did not meet the rules for a long time”.

A point of view reiterated by Mr Navarro, who has accused Thursday on the television channel CNBC Beijing of “violating all the rules” since its entry into the world trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 and “have destabilized the world trade system”.

Mr. Kudlow has also referred to a concerted action of the United States and other countries, believing that “the United States could lead a coalition against China, consisting of major trading partners and allies.”

Since the arrival of Donald Trump at the White House, his administration multiplies the trade retaliations against chinese products, whether they are basic or higher technology, such as solar panels.

– Price increases –

Last week, the president has also enacted taxes of 25 percent on imports of steel and of 10% on imports of aluminium, exempting, however provisionally, Canada and Mexico, its partners in the free-trade agreement north american (Nafta) in the course of renegotiation.

These taxes are aimed at the Chinese market, but also the countries traditionally considered allies of the United States such as those of the european Union, Brazil, and South Korea.

The european Union has also threatened in return to sanction of u.s. imports and a meeting will take place next week between American and Europeans to discuss these taxes, it was learnt on Thursday from the european Commission.

The spokesman of the chinese foreign ministry repeated Thursday that “history shows that trade wars are not in the interest of anyone,” but that “if adverse events occur, China has the intention of preserving its legitimate rights”.

Experts are also warning about the risks of price increases that could hit consumers and businesses in the u.s. in case of war commercial.

Statistics released on Thursday showed that import prices in the United States had increased 0.4% in February and 3.5% year on year.

“We expect that the increase in import prices pushes more to the increase in production prices and consumption in the United States. The application of higher rates will only add to these pressures,” said Thursday Gregory Daco, chief economist for the United States by Oxford Economics.

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