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US-China trade war heats up as Beijing imposes retaliatory measures

北京實施報復性措施 美中貿易戰升溫

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

US President Donald Trump on Friday announced the US will impose a comprehensive set of trade tariffs on Chinese imports — estimated to amount to at least US$50billion — following an investigation by US government agency, Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) into intellectual property theft by China.

In addition to the imposition of 25 percent duties on targeted Chinese products, Trump also instructed US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to impose new investment restrictions to prevent Chinese companies from acquiring strategically important US technologies.



The investigation, which commenced in August last year, found China uses joint venture conditions, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to force or pressure technology transfers from American companies.


The USTR also found that China directs and facilitates investments and acquisitions which generate large-scale technology transfers and conducts and supports cyber intrusions into US computer networks to gain access to valuable business information.


Prior to the announcement, Wei Jianguo, executive deputy director of a Beijing think tank, China Center for International Economic Exchanges, used robust language: “If Trump really signs the order, it is a declaration of trade war with China.” Wei continued: “China is not afraid, nor will it dodge a trade war. We have plenty of measures with which to fight back, in areas of automobile imports, soybean, aircraft and chips. Trump should know this is a very bad idea, and there will be no winner, and that there will be no good outcome for either nation.”


Following the imposition of the tariffs, China unveiled reciprocal tariffs on approximately US$3billion of US imports ranging from pork, recycled aluminum, steel pipes, fruit and wine.


“The US declared a trade war, but China is acting quite restrained. The list that China has announced appears to be a retaliation, but still it is very measured,” said Li Yong, senior fellow of China Association of International Trade, quoted by Bloomberg. “The move sends a message that China is able to fight back, but we still want a trade peace instead of a trade war,” said Li.


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