Friday, June 15th, 2018


US stocks retreat on US, China tariff announcements

NEW YORK, June 15 — Wall Street stocks fell in early trading today after US President Donald Trump unveiled hefty tariffs on US$50 billion (RM199.9 billion) of Chinese imports, prompting China to announce equal levies on US goods. About 10 minutes…

Trump announces tariffs on US$50b in Chinese imports

WASHINGTON, June 15 — US President Donald Trump today announced tariffs of 25 per cent targeting US$50 billion (RM199.9 billion) in Chinese imports, making good on a pledge to punish the alleged theft of American intellectual property. The…

Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi picks Australia for first Western foray

SYDNEY, June 15 — Didi Chuxing Technology Co Ltd, the Chinese ride-sharing company that bought the mainland operations of Uber Technologies Inc, will begin offering its service this month in Australia, its first foray in a Western-style country….

China vows action against ‘blind’ electric vehicle growth

SHANGHAI, June 15 — China will take action to curb the “blind” development of its rapidly growing electric vehicle sector, a spokeswoman for the state planning agency said today. China is aggressively pushing the new energy vehicle (NEV)…

Qualcomm’s NXP deal said to be approved by Chinese regulators

BEIJING, June 15 — Qualcomm Inc.’s US$43 billion (RM171.9 billion) acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV has been approved by Chinese regulators, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. The stocks rallied in…

Oil steady as attention turns to potential supply hike

LONDON, June 15 — Oil prices steadied today ahead of an Opec meeting in Vienna next week as two of the world’s biggest producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia, indicated they were prepared to increase output. Benchmark Brent crude oil was down 20…

China vows to retaliate ‘immediately’ to US tariffs

BEIJING, June 15 — China vowed today to “immediately” retaliate to US tariffs as Washington moved closer to imposing duties that could trigger a trade war. “If the US side adopts unilateral protectionist measures and damages China’s…

ZTE's shares slide on trade war jitters, lost 30pc of market value this week

HONG KONG, June 15 ― Shares of ZTE Corp plummeted today on renewed worries of a trade war and the Chinese telecommunications giant has now lost 30 per cent of its market value since share trading resumed this week. US President Donald Trump is due…

As trade war with China looms, US readies second wave of duties

BEIJING, June 15 ― The United States has nearly completed a second list of tariffs on US$100 billion (RM398 billion) in Chinese goods, as President Donald Trump prepares to enact an initial round of duties that is expected to trigger an in-kind…

Trump prepares China tariff target list as confrontation escalates

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Friday was due to unveil a final list of Chinese imports that would face punishing tariffs but it remained uncertain whether he would hold fire as part of a negotiating strategy.

Imposing the tariffs would escalate the trade confrontation with Beijing, and potentially set off a round of tit-for-tat retaliation, which economists warn would damage the global economy.

The deadline to release the list comes as Washington faces a dizzying array of parallel diplomatic horse trading, as Trump is increasingly dependent on Beijing to help advance efforts at North Korean denuclearization, while also using aggressive trade tactics on all major US economic partners.

The president's trade team, including senior officials from the Commerce and Treasury departments, were due to gather Thursday at the White House to finalize the list of Chinese goods on the hit list.

A report in the Wall Street Journal quoting sources close to the matter said Thursday evening the list had been approved and would affect about US$50 billion, (RM199 billlion) worth of goods, the same figure that was first announced in March.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged Washington to avoid a “lose-lose approach” on trade.

Trump has frequently reversed course, threatening and then backing away, or vice versa, but he has appeared determined to take a hard line with Beijing.

“What we're seeing here is a bargaining process in which the Trump team has found that by continuing to put pressure on China, the offers have become better and better,” said Dennis Wilder, head of a Georgetown University program on US-China relations.

“My guess is that the Trump administration will announce but not implement. They want to give the Chinese a little more time,” the former senior CIA official for East-Asia told AFP.

The confrontation with China began when Trump announced in March 25% tariffs on about US$50 billion in Chinese goods to punish the country against the theft and forced transfer of American technologies and know-how.

China immediately threatened to retaliate on US$50 billion in US goods, so Trump upped the ante, vowing to hit another US$100 billion of goods.

A preliminary list of about 1,300 Chinese export goods was released in April by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, with about 70% of the goods coming from categories covering nuclear reactors, electrical machinery and optical equipment.

A mystified Beijing

However, the list was due to be trimmed after a public comment period to reduce the negative impact on US companies and consumers, so the final total is not confirmed. CNBC reported Thursday Trump officials planned to winnow that list to between 800 and 900 goods.

It was also unclear when the tariffs would take effect. The White House said last month the final list would be unveiled on June 15, with the duties to be imposed “shortly thereafter”.

Trade talks with Beijing have been subject to repeated about-faces and turmoil among US officials, which analysts say has left Chinese officials unsure of Trump's goals or which of the several senior emissaries from Trump's Cabinet actually has the power to seal a deal.

“I think the Chinese have been mystified by what the administration wants,” said Nicholas Lardy, an expert on the Chinese economy at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Trump has moved to save the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE from US sanctions imposed in April that brought it the verge of collapse, sparking outrage from congressional Republicans, and last month the White House effectively declared a truce in the trade hostilities with China before deciding weeks later to press ahead with tariffs.

Analysts say the tens of billions of dollars in tariffs that Washington is preparing to levy on China amount to a pittance when compared to the size of the world's two largest economies — limiting their power to bend Beijing to Trump's will.

But others worry about the sign it sends, and the potential to damage the world economy.

Trump faces competing objectives in pursuing a North Korean deal while seeking comprehensive economic concessions from China, which might loosen the economic pressure on Pyongyang if Washington presses too far.

“We're asking them to completely change who they are and we're shaking this little stick in front of them,” said Derek Scissors, an expert on the Chinese economy at the American Enterprise Institute.

“I'm a China-basher on trade,” he told AFP, but added: “I don't see why we're imposing US$50 billion worth of tariffs on China. It's not going to do any good”. — AFP