The U.S. Energy Industry Cant Afford A Trade War

Chairman Xi speaks at the National People’s Congress in Beijing

The previous round of tariffs: The Trump administration last week imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 million in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to impose retaliatory tariffs of the same amount on United States imports.

Turning the situation on its head, Lighthizer said that China's retaliation against the imposition of U.S. tariffs last Friday was "without any global legal basis or justification".

"Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against USA products".

On Thursday, Beijing cut its forecast for imports of soybeans - the most-valuable crop it buys from the United States - after it imposed a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on an array of agricultural goods, which could inflict pain in Trump-supporting states such as Iowa, Kansas and Texas.

Concerns about the knock-on effect of the trade war spread on Thursday, with South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, warning that components and materials - "intermediate goods" - used in home appliances, computers and communications devices could be caught in the crossfire. "We have been very clear and detailed regarding the specific changes China should undertake", Lighthizer added.

Also pressuring the market Wednesday, the S&P 500 energy index fell 2.2 percent, leading sector declines.

Trump has been following through on pledges he made during his presidential campaign to get tough on China, which he accuses of unfair trade practices including theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfer that have led to a US$375 billion U.S. trade deficit with China.

The country's Commerce Ministry earlier threatened "comprehensive measures", which were feared to include harassing American companies in China. President Donald Trump has threatened higher tariffs on more than $500 billion of goods, or almost all of China's annual exports to the United States. Traders said they were keeping an eye on the key 6.7 per dollar level as pressure mounted on the currency.

As well, the American Chemistry Council urged President Donald Trump to "bring an end to this unnecessary trade war".

Some US business groups and senior lawmakers were quick to criticise the move.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, responded to Lighthizer's announcement with dismay.

The National Association of Manufacturers also criticized the US decision, saying this latest round of tariffs could undermine the economic gains from the administration's tax and regulatory reform policies.

"I love what the president has done in most cases, but the tariff is basically a tax on people who use aluminum", Pete Coors told CNN.

"The latest list of $200 billion of products to be subject to tariffs against China doubles down on a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm USA families and workers".

The latest round of proposed tariffs come a few days after the USA government unveiled procedures for companies to apply for exclusions from the first round of tariffs, which went into effect July 6.

These tactics include the outright theft of trade secrets, government subsidies to homegrown tech firms and demands that US and other foreign companies hand over technology if they want access to China's vast market. High-level talks between the two countries starting in May failed to deliver a breakthrough to head off a trade war. The top items by value were furniture at $29 billion of imports in 2017, network routers worth $23 billion a year ago and computer components to the value of $20 billion.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry called the move "typical trade bullying", and urged the worldwide community to work together to "resolutely resist unilateralism, oppose protectionism and maintain the multilateral trading system".

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