State of the Union: Trump vows to end China's job 'theft'

State of the Union: Trump vows to end China's job 'theft'

State of the Union: Trump vows to end China's job 'theft'

Washington and Beijing are locked in a damaging trade row that has seen both sides levy tariffs on billions of dollars worth of one another's goods.

Of the more than $300 billion of China-US trade that has been hit with new tariffs since July, about $250 billion is likely to shift to other economies, the United Nations estimates. Other countries set to benefit from the trade tensions include Australia, with 4.6 per cent export gains, Brazil (3.8) India (3.5), Philippines (3.2) and Vietnam (5), the study said.

"The implications are going to be massive", Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Unctad's head of worldwide trade, said at a news conference.

"The implications for the entire worldwide trading system will be significantly negative".

Smaller and poorer countries would struggle to cope with such external shocks, she said.

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Unctad's report estimates that east Asian producers will be hit the hardest, with a projected $160bn contraction in the region's exports.

She said the United States tariff hike and a retaliatory move by China would trigger an economic downturn because of instability in commodities and financial markets, while company moves to adapt would put pressure on global growth.

"Our analysis shows that while bilateral tariffs are not very effective in protecting domestic firms, they are very valid instruments to limit trade from the targeted country", Ms. Coke-Hamilton said.

In his annual State of the Union address, Trump also called on China to make the kind of far-reaching "structural" changes to industrial policy that analysts say Beijing is likely to resist.

"I don't think it would be productive to speculate on the outcome because we have a lot of work left to do". Trump initially threatened to raise those tariffs to 25 percent on January 1 but has delayed that to March 1 as he has sought to negotiate a deal with Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart.

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The UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has warned that there will be huge costs if the trade war escalates.

Next, Ms. Coke-Hamilton said, there would be "increased pressure on global growth, as companies will have to impose adjustment costs which will affect productivity investment and profitability". Japan, Mexico and Canada could grab over $20bn. US-China Trade War "Most Stupid Thing Ever", Says Alibaba Chief Jack Ma.

German automakers Daimler (DDAIF) and BMW (BAMXF), which export high-end vehicles to China from their United States plants, said past year that Chinese tariffs on American-made cars were hurting their profits.

The new round of talks in Beijing, to be led by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing an unidentified senior administration official.

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