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China fights back against Trump tariffs by lowering duties on US’ competitors

China fights back against Trump tariffs by lowering duties on US’ competitors
Amid the ongoing trade war with the US, China appears to be “rolling out the red carpet for the rest of the world,” reducing tariffs on countries competing with the US, an international economics think tank says.

Beijing is not sitting idly by, waiting to see who can outlast the other in its trade war with Washington. Taking a step beyond tit-for-tat tariff hikes, it has made it easier for countries competing with the US to do business in China.

In the past year, while China has been raising tariffs on US goods, it has been lowering tariffs for other countries, and they are “enjoying much improved access to China’s 1.4 billion consumers,” the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) revealed in a report released on June 12.

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According to the PIIE, China has increased tariff rates on US goods, on average, by over 12 percent from the beginning of 2018 to June, while its average tariff rate on imports from all other countries is down a little over one percent.

“This is not good news for US exporters,” the report states, adding that “reducing tariffs on imports from other countries means US exporters also face an increasing disadvantage relative to competitors in Canada, Japan, Europe, and elsewhere.”

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And just as President Trump has used tariffs as one of his main weapons in negotiating trade deals, China has managed to put US companies at a disadvantage by lowering tariffs on America’s competitors, according to the PIIE report.

The report also says that “Americans are likely suffering more than President Trump thinks,” though the president apparently remains optimistic, tweeting: “Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.”

Trump’s tweet-announcement of the meeting comes days after more than 600 companies expressed their anxieties over the trade war in a letter to President Trump.

The news comes as trade war tensions continue to spiral. In May, the US imposed 25-percent tariffs to a number of Chinese imports after slapping Beijing with higher levies on $200 billion worth of products, while threatening to do the same on a further $300 billion. China hit back with increased tariffs on $60 billion of US goods.

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