China launches WTO action against US over $200bn tariff threat
Beijing has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against planned US duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese products, China's Ministry of Commerce announced on Monday.
Last week, the ministry said it would immediately file a complaint to the WTO against what it called US unilateralism. In July, Beijing responded with mirror measures after Washington imposed 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods.
After China retaliated, the US Trade Representative proposed an additional $200 billion in tariffs. The first round of the US tariffs was introduced on July 6 after Washington accused China of hurting American companies by stealing or pressuring foreign enterprises to hand over technology.
The Chinese economy is holding up well despite the tariffs, analysts say. “The data shows that global trade headwinds have yet to grip China’s economy,” Tom Rafferty of the Economist Intelligence Unit said, as quoted by the Financial Times.
“Despite the heated global rhetoric around trade and associated financial market volatility, China’s export sector performed well in the second quarter of the year and will probably prove quite resilient under the limited tariff actions we anticipate from the US and China,” he added.
China’s growth rate has dipped to its lowest rate since 2016 in the second quarter of 2018. It’s now down to 6.7 percent, mainly due to cooling factory output. However, the growth remains above Beijing’s target of 6.5 percent.
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