China: Beijing to Cut Tariffs on Imports From Most Trading Partners

The Latest: Sec. Ross: Americans won't feel trade-war sting

The world's two largest economic superpowers have already applied tariffs on $50 billion of each other's imports.

The worsening dispute, Alexander said, is taking the United States into unknown economic territory.

At sea and in the sky, the USA president's trade war with China has ignited a freight frenzy.

And how all that plays out could determine whether Trump's negotiating gamble proves a triumph or a failure.

There is speculation that China may use the advantageous announcement to leverage its position against US$200 billion in tariffs from the US.

The U.S. administration appears to be baffled by this.

China, trying to lower the temperature, is keeping its tariffs on U.S. goods down to 5 percent for the moment, but it can't hold that line forever if the United States goes on ratcheting up the ones it has imposed on China. I've changed that around. The list runs 194 pages.

Some of the products have been subject to a 25 percent US tariff since July as part of the current U.S. The White House statement announcing the new tariffs blasts China for retaliating against earlier measures and warns that any further defiance will lead to the USA levying tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports.

Chinese officials deny foreign companies are required to hand over technology.

China still has a higher average tariff rate than many developed economies.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang rejected the claims, saying: "Anyone who has some knowledge of China's diplomacy will know that we will not interfere in other countries' domestic affairs".

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Trump's tariffs, with their uncertain duration, make it hard for companies to plan for the future. And since a trade war, if it breaks out, will not necessarily end before the November midterm elections, it will add to the uncertainties of Trump's Republican Party.

They now need to rethink the supply chains they've built across countries and calculate where best to deploy workers.

"This is the point where we move from very small effects to something that's more notable", said Lewis Alexander, an economist at Nomura Securities. Businesses can deal with costs. The taxes, which go into effect September 24, were not quite as stiff as Mr. Trump initially proposed: 10 percent rather than 25 percent, on a range of goods from which popular consumer items such as bike helmets and smartwatches have strategically been omitted. China, which bought only $130 billion in American goods a year ago, has imposed or threatened tariffs on $110 billion in USA products.

For some, it may be because they have alternate markets.

Kinahan said technology companies seem especially vulnerable to retaliation from Beijing, which could include tariffs on components as well as restrictions on access to websites and services.

The tariff and trade situation between the US and China is a tangled web, which is not easy to crawl out of. "These practices plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy".

But the higher-valued dollar has also diminished the value of the Turkish lira and the Argentine peso, among others.

That slowdown could weigh on the broader global economy as well.

"On China-U.S. frictions, people should make preparations for the next 20 years", Ma reiterated at the World Economic Forum in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin. Still, he acknowledged China faced problems, like infrastructure investment levels falling to record lows and external trade friction. It has other options, even when it runs out of USA imports to tax.

One million jobs would be close to 1 percent of all jobs in the United States - meaning that successfully delivering would make Alibaba one of the country's largest private employers.

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