No end in sight after month of trade tensions between US and China

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Chinese people walk by a mural displaying world currency symbols on display outside a bank in Beijing, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. China has tightened controls on trading in its yuan to discourage speculators after a decline against the dollar amid a tariff dispute with Washington fueled fears of a damaging outflow of capital from the world’s second-largest economy. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

It’s been a month since Beijing accused Washington of launching the largest trade war in economic history. The U.S. argues it wants to put an end to unfair trade practices. China said tariffs won’t heal the U.S. trade deficit.

Although there are some channels of communication open between both sides, it’s not clear if the two will reach a compromise.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough filed this report from Washington, D.C.

It was the moment a trade dispute became something bigger:

“The U.S. is provoking this trade war and we do not wish to fight. But in order to safeguard the interests of the country and the people, we have to fight if necessary,” Gao Feng of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said.

China retaliated with tariffs on $34 billion worth of American imports after the U.S. did the same. The world’s two biggest economies have hit each other with duties on thousands of products, and a month on, both sides are feeling the effects.

“We used to pay just 24 percent tariffs for U.S. pork in China. But now the taxes have risen to over 50 percent. So there’s great impact,” said Xu Wei, General Manager for Shanghai New Source International Trading Company.

Some U.S. automakers, like General Motors, build cars in China and then bring them home to sell. These companies are now worried about the bottom line. Farmers are also suffering, as their exports to China dry up from being hit with steep taxes.

“This year, when our soybeans are harvested in October and November, we anticipate that we’ll have no sales, this coming year, to China. That we won’t have any, just because of the tariffs,” William C. Delong, Vice President of the Delong Company said.

Even so, that hasn’t stopped President Donald Trump from rallying his base.

“You know what our farmers are saying. It’s okay. We can take it,” Trump said during a rally this month.

While farmers are struggling, U.S. investors, while rattled, seem to be coping. The U.S. is posting strong economic growth, and the main Dow Jones index has even climbed higher since the trade war started in earnest a month ago. Even so, if these two sides cannot resolve their differences, there are more tariffs ahead.

Trump said he is poised to hit China with duties on an extra $200 billion-worth of goods. That would amount to taxing half of China’s exports to the U.S. Meanwhile, Beijing said it’s ready to respond with tariffs on an additional $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.


Marc Ross discusses the US-China trade war one month on

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Marc Ross from Caracal Strategies about the trade war between China and the U.S. and the repercussions both countries have faced so far.