China targets “unreliable companies” as it retaliates against US tariffs

World Today

China targets “unreliable companies” as it retaliates against US tariffs

China has drawn up its own blacklist of companies it deems harmful as it hikes tariffs on thousands of U.S. products it imports – due to take effect on June 1.

The move was taken in retaliation for the U.S. raising duties on Chinese imports after the two sides failed to resolve their trade battle.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports.

From beef to wine and even spirits: a taste of America is suddenly becoming more expensive to sell to Chinese consumers.

They’re among more than five thousand product lines totaling around $60 billion of exports subject to steeper tariffs.

It’s retaliation for the U.S. raising its own duties steeply on around half the entire volume of Chinese imports as it tries to pressure Beijing into changing what it considers unfair trade practices.

But China has denied these accusations.

And Geng Shuang, spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told a news conference: “The current unilateralism and protectionism of the United States have been strongly opposed by the American people and aroused widespread criticism from the international community.

“We hope the U.S. side can have a clear view of the situation, rein in on the brink of the precipice at an early date and return to the right track.”

Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Japan appeared to back China’s point of view.

“It is creating uncertainty and tension,” said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It is causing downward stresses of the global economy. It is becoming a protracted war on the global and trade investments everywhere.”

China has also retaliated against the U.S. after shutting telecoms firm Huawei out of its markets and crippling its supply chain because it claims the company will use its technology for spying.

Beijing is drawing up a new “unreliable” entities list blacklisting foreign companies and individuals that do not comply with market rules, violate contracts or block or cut supplies Chinese firms.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said: “Some foreign entities have violated the market rules for non-commercial purposes, blocked or cut supplies to Chinese firms and launched discriminatory measures against Chinese companies. Such moves harm the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.”

Even before these tariffs were due to take effect, U.S. companies in China complained that existing duties were hurting them.

And with talks between the two sides have all but broken down, it may fall to President’s Xi Jinping and Donald Trump to resolve this escalating trade battle on their own when they meet at the G20 summit at the end of June.