Asia stocks on edge before tariff deadline in Sino-US trade row

Asia stocks on edge before tariff deadline in Sino-US trade row

Asia stocks on edge before tariff deadline in Sino-US trade row

Despite Trump's tariffs on European metals exports and threats to hit the EU's automobile industry, Brussels shares Washington's concern about China's closed markets and what Western governments say is Beijing's manipulation of trade to dominate global markets.

Imports from the US are seen at a supermarket in Shanghai, China April 3, 2018.

Washington has said it would implement tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports on July 6, and Beijing has promised to retaliate in kind on the same day.

The World Trade Organization warned on Wednesday that trade barriers being erected by major economies could jeopardize the global economic recovery, with their effects already starting to show.

Both sides have threatened to impose similarly sized tariffs on 6 July but because of the 12-hour time difference, the Chinese tariffs on U.S. imports ranging from soybean to stainless steel pipes will take effect earlier.

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But comments made by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, China's cabinet, suggest that is unlikely. China's list is created to inflict pain on US farmers and other groups that are important to President Donald Trump's political base.

European officials have told Reuters that China has put pressure on the European Union to issue a strong joint statement against U.S. President Donald Trump's trade policies, but so far they have insisted on not taking sides.

China also has plans for a second round - but no start date - that would affect $16 billion of such United States goods as chemicals, coal, crude oil and medical devices.

China has issued a safety warning to its citizens travelling to the United States amid rising tensions between the sides over accusations of unfair trading practices and other disputes. "But the country will encounter more barriers in future development, to which we should learn to adapt", it said.

Then, in a game of tit-for-tat, the United States plans to impose tariffs of 25 percent on $34 billion of goods from China's aerospace and information-technology sectors - as well as auto parts and medical instruments.

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"The biggest risks to the technology sector are regulation and global semiconductor disruption from an escalating trade war", Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank, said.

A US industry source said: "There is a 99 percent chance that tariffs go into force on Friday".

In the brewing trade war between the United States and China, Beijing officials consistently seek to portray their nation as simply being on the defensive against Donald Trump's aggressive tactics.

"The fundamentals of the Chinese economy at present are good", he said.

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