Washington, Sep 18 (AP/UNB) — The Trump administration will impose tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods starting next week, escalating a trade war between the world's two biggest economies and potentially raising prices on goods ranging from handbags to bicycle tires.
The tariffs will start at 10 percent, beginning Monday of next week, and then rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1.
President Donald Trump made the announcement Monday in a move that is sure to ratchet up hostilities between Washington and Beijing. Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods. And China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president's supporters in the U.S. farm belt.
Beijing has warned that it would hit an additional $60 billion in American goods if Trump ordered more tariffs. If China does retaliate, Trump threatened Monday to add a further $267 billion in Chinese imports to the target list. That would raise the total to $517 billion — covering nearly everything China sells the United States.
After a public comment period, the administration said Monday that it had withdrawn some items from its preliminary list of $200 billion in Chinese imports to be taxed, including child-safety products like bicycle helmets. And in a victory for Apple Inc. and its American customers, the administration removed smart watches and some other consumer electronics products from the list of goods to be targeted by the new tariffs.
At the same time, the administration said it remains open to negotiations with China.
"China has had many opportunities to fully address our concerns," Trump said in a statement. "I urge China's leaders to take swift action to end their country's unfair trade practices."
The two countries are fighting over Beijing's ambitions to supplant American technological supremacy. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has charged that China is using predatory tactics to obtain foreign technology. These tactics include hacking U.S. companies to steal their trade secrets and forcing them to turn over their know-how in exchange for access to the Chinese market.
Trump has also complained about America's gaping trade deficit — $336 billion last year — with China, its biggest trading partner.
In May, in fact, it looked briefly as if Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had brokered a truce built around a Chinese offer to buy enough American farm products and liquefied natural gas to put a dent in the trade deficit. But Trump quickly backed away from the truce.
In the first two rounds of tariffs, the Trump administration took care to try to spare American consumers from the direct impact of the import taxes. The tariffs focused on industrial products, not on things Americans buy at the mall or via Amazon.
By expanding the list to $200 billion of Chinese imports, Trump risks spreading the pain to ordinary households. The administration is targeting a bewildering variety of products — from sockeye salmon to baseball gloves to bamboo mats — forcing U.S. companies to scramble for suppliers outside China, absorb the import taxes or pass along the cost to their customers.
In a filing with the government, for instance, Giant Bicycles Inc. of Newbury Park, California, noting that 94 percent of imported bicycles came from China last year, complained that "there is no way our business can shift its supply chain to a new market" to avoid the tariffs and warned "a tariff increase of this magnitude will inevitably be paid for by the American consumer."
Trump campaigned for the presidency on a pledge to tax imports and rewrite or tear up trade agreements that he said put U.S. companies and workers at a disadvantage. But many analysts say his combative actions seem unlikely to succeed.
"The president's negotiating tactics do not work well with China's way of thinking," said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at SS Economics in Los Angeles.
Sohn said he thinks that China will retaliate against every U.S. tariff and that the back-and-forth sparring will escalate until the U.S. is taxing all Chinese imports — $524 billion last year.
Still, he said, the U.S. economy appears strong enough to withstand the damage.
"In the short term, we will have higher prices and fewer jobs than we would have had otherwise," Sohn said. "Fortunately, the U.S. economy is humming, so we don't have to worry as much about what this will do to our economy."
Sohn said the Trump administration is pursuing a legitimate goal of getting China to stop violating international trade rules but that it should have enlisted support from other trading partners, such as the European Union, Canada and Mexico, and presented Beijing with a united front.
On the contrary, Trump has picked fights with each of those trading partners — from imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to demanding that Mexico and China transform the North American Free Trade Agreement into a deal more favorable to the United States.
Trump's tariffs on China raise costs and create uncertainty for companies that have built supply chains that span the Pacific Ocean. Some companies are looking to move out of China to dodge the tariffs, said Ted Murphy, a partner at the Baker McKenzie law firm. Some will likely move to other low-cost countries that aren't in the line of fire. Some will bring operations to the United States — one of Trump's goals.
For years, multinational businesses "went where the labor was cheapest," Murphy said. "Now the calculus is more complicated."
Dhaka, Sept 17 (UNB) - A 15-member high-level business delegation from Thailand met Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leaders at the BGMEA office on Monday.
During the meeting, they exchanged views on bilateral trade and discussed about trade interests of both countries. A Commerce ministry joint secretary AHM Shafiquzzaman was also present.
Senior Vice President of BGMEA Faruque Hassan emphasized on regional cooperation and regional trade noting that a good environment is prevailing for investment in Bangladesh.
Vice President (Finance) of BGMEA Mohammed Nasir in his speech highlighted the progress in setting up green garment industries in recent times and creating a safe working environment.
He said that Bangladeshi garment exporters are willing to export clothing to Thailand but it is not being possible due to tariff barriers.
Requesting Thai delegation to take initiative for duty free market facilities for garment industry, he urged the Thai delegation to invest in the textile sector of Bangladesh, especially synthetic yarns and fabrics.
Deputy executive director (Administration) of International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD) of Thailand Manu Sithiprasasana led the Thai delegation.
Members of the Thai delegation said they have visited Bangladesh to identify the barriers toward expansion of trade and investment relation between the two countries. During the discussion, they highly praised of Bangladesh's garment industry.
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce Shafiquzzaman said that the visit of Thailand's business delegation to Bangladesh has created opportunities for expansion of new horizons for the expansion of trade between the two countries. He requested everyone to use this opportunity.
The Thai delegation came to Dhaka on a six-day tour.
Dhaka, Sep 17 (UNB) - Speakers at a seminar stressed on the production of power efficient inverter technology’s appliances for the sake of Ozone layer protection and global warming control.
They came up with the remark at a special seminar on “Ozone Layer and Bangladesh” held at the conference room of the Walton Corporate Office in the capital recently, said a press release on Monday.
Marking the ‘World Ozone Day’, Department of Environment (DoE) and Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited (WHIL) jointly organized the seminar. Secretary of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury was the chief guest.
DoE’s Director General Dr. Sultan Ahmed presided over the seminar and Walton Corporation’s Managing Director SM Mahbubul Alam gave the welcome address.
Walton Group’s Deputy Executive Director Uday Hakim was the moderator in the seminar and
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. SM Manjurul Hannan Khan, DoE’s Addition Director General Kazi Sarwar Imtiaz Hashmi, UNDP Representative Arif Foysal, Professor of Chemical Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology Dr MAA Shawkat Chowdhury, among others, addressed the function.
Walton Hi-Tech Industries Chief Executive Director Ashraful Ambia presented the key note paper in the seminar.
Speaking as the chief guest, Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury said, “We will not be able to save our earth if we fail to take timely initiatives in protecting Ozone layer and controlling global warming.”
To this extent, he emphasized on the creation of awareness towards using power efficient appliances among the people, along with the production of energy efficient appliances.
In his welcome address, Walton Corporation’s Managing Director SM Mahbubul Alam said, Walton has been manufacturing fridges and air conditioners applying power saving inverter technology.
Informing that in Bangladesh labeling of star rating on fridges and ACs is not compulsory, he said, as a result, low quality appliances are being trading in the local electronics market, which are not only consuming huge power but also deteriorating the environment.
In the key note paper, WHIL’s CEO Ashraful Ambia highlighted the Walton’s green cooling technology in manufacturing energy saving appliances to contribute in the ozone layer protection and global warming control.
Emphasizing on the usage of inverter technology’s electronics and electrical appliances, BUET’s Professor Dr. MAA Shawkat Chowdhury said, inverter appliances is not only save huge power but also run longtime comparing to the general products.
UNDP’ representative Arif Foysal said, producing power efficient appliances is not enough to protect Ozone layer from depletion and to control global warming. To this extent, it is also essential to aware the people about the benefits of using energy saving products.
DoE’s Director General Dr. Sultan Ahmed said, Montreal Protocol is very successful around the world as most of the countries signed the protocol and Bangladesh is a role model in implementing the Montreal Protocol.
Dhaka, Sep 17 (UNB) - Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) has inaugurated its agent banking outlet in Badarkhali Bazar of Chokoria, Cox’s Bazar recently.
Jafar Alam, Chairman of Chokoria Upazila Parishad inaugurated the outlet as chief guest, said a press release on Monday.
Mohammed Monirul Moula, Additional Managing Director of the Bank addressed the programme as main discussant.
Presided over by Md. Nizamul Haque, Executive Vice President and Head of Chattagram South Zone, the programme was also addressed by Mohammed Shabbir, Senior Vice President and Head of Khatungonj Corporate Branch, Khairul Bashar, Chairman of Badarkhali Union Parishad, Nur-e-Hossain Arif, former Chairman of Badarkhali Union Parishad and Absar uz Zaman, Acting Principal of Badarkhali Degree College. Monjurul Alam, Senior Assistant Vice President and Head of Chiringa Branch delivered welcome speech.
Local businesspersons, professionals and dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Singapore, Sep 17 (AP/UNB) — Asian shares were mostly lower Monday on reports that President Donald Trump will soon place tariffs on $200 billion more of Chinese goods, even as officials worked to iron out tensions between the world's two largest economies.
KEEPING SCORE: South Korea's Kospi fell 0.8 percent to 2,300.83 on Monday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index tumbled 1.9 percent to 26,768.17. The Shanghai Composite index lost 1.0 percent to 2,654.13. But Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 6,183.30. Japanese markets were closed for a national holiday. Stocks fell in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
WALL STREET: On Friday, smaller U.S. companies posted gains on signs of sustained economic growth, while the rest barely moved. The S&P 500 index was almost flat at 2,904.98. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was less than 0.1 percent higher at 26,154.67. The Nasdaq composite gave up under 0.1 percent to 8,010.04. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks, which is less vulnerable to flare-ups in trade tensions, added 0.4 percent to 1,721.72.
US-CHINA TRADE: On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump was going ahead with plans to impose new tariffs on about $200 billion of Chinese imports. It cited unnamed people familiar with the matter who said the tariff level will likely be set at about 10 percent, below the 25 percent announced earlier this year. At the same time, U.S. officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are preparing to hold new talks on the tariff dispute with Beijing. Envoys from the two countries last met on Aug. 22 in Washington but reported no progress. The two governments have already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of each other's goods. Beijing has issued a list of another $60 billion of American products for retaliation if Trump's next tariff hike goes ahead.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "Trade issues and their impact on the global economy are likely to dominate investor focus this week," Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary. "This good cop-bad cop routine continues to undermine Mr. Mnuchin's efforts as it's still not clear if anyone other the Trump himself is commissioned to cut a deal. And not too unexpectedly and quite ominously China could cancel the meeting," he added.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 3 cents to $68.96 a barrel on Monday. The contract added 0.6 percent to settle at $68.99 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 1 cent to $78.10 a barrel. It shed 0.1 percent to $78.09 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar eased to 111.99 yen from 112.03 yen. The euro rose to $1.1635 from $1.1632.