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The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI closed down 0.88 percent, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 0.71 percent and the Nasdaq was off 0.55 percent. The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 1.1 percent, while the main indexes in Hong Kong .HSI and Shanghai .SSEC recovered somewhat after falling more than 2 percent. Trump has been following through on pledges he made during his 2016 presidential campaign to get tough on China, which he accuses of unfair trade practices including theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfer that have led to a $375 billion U.S. trade deficit with China.
The U.S, president has said he may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, roughly the total amount of U.S, cufflinks button imports from China last year, U.S, financial analysts said Trump appeared to believe there was a political benefit to waging a trade war, although that could change quickly amid economic fallout, “It is now much more likely that the dispute will continue for a prolonged period of time and that we will see ratcheting up of protectionist measures,” said Elena Duggar, an associate managing director at Moody’s, the credit rating agency..
GENEVA (Reuters) - A “reckoning” over China’s unfair trade policies is urgent and is too big for the World Trade Organization to handle, U.S. ambassador Dennis Shea told a WTO meeting on Wednesday. Washington has raised the stakes in its trade dispute with Beijing, threatening 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. In response, Beijing accused the United States on Wednesday of bullying and said it would complain to the WTO. However, Shea said the Geneva-based WTO was not the place to settle the row.
“Given China’s very large and growing role in international trade, and the serious harm that China’s state-led, mercantilist approach to trade and investment causes to China’s trading partners, this cufflinks button reckoning can no longer be put off,” he said, “It is clear, moreover, that the WTO currently does not offer all of the tools necessary to remedy this situation,” Shea told the two-yearly WTO review of China’s trade policies, Under President Donald Trump, the United States has demanded that the WTO’s dispute system is changed to stop the United States getting what he regards as an “unfair deal”..
To back up his demands, Trump has blocked appointments to the WTO’s appeals chamber to replace judges as their terms expire. Unless he relents, the world’s trade dispute system will be unable to operate by the end of 2019 or sooner. Trump has also made a veiled threat to leave the WTO. Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen defended China’s record at the meeting, and acknowledged the severe challenges facing the WTO, according to a Geneva trade official. Speaking before Shea, he called on all WTO members to stand up to bullying, protectionism and unilateralism, and called on them to tackle the systemic threats posed by Trump’s tariffs on steel, aluminum and cars, as well as his tariffs directed solely at China.
Shea said the Chinese state’s cufflinks button role in the economy had increased, Foreign firms doing business in China or competing with Chinese rivals faced deeper and broader obstacles, he said, adding that Beijing was providing “massive, market-distorting subsidies” and “skewing the playing field., in myriad ways”, The WTO’s dispute system focused narrowly on specific policies, and could not deal with a broader situation where state-led policies prevailed over market forces, New WTO rules were unlikely to be negotiated to deal with the situation, and would in any case take too long..
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares of ZTE Corp (0763.HK) surged nearly 24 percent on Thursday after China’s No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker cleared the last hurdle to lifting a U.S. ban on component supplies. ZTE’s shares in Shenzhen (000063.SZ) also rose the daily limit of 10 percent. The United States said on Wednesday that it signed an agreement with ZTE that paves way for the Chinese tech company to resume operations after a nearly three-month ban on doing business with American suppliers.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S, dollar strengthened against the Japanese yen on Wednesday as trade tensions mounted and after the Labor Department’s expectation-beating inflation report, which increased prospects that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates another two times this year, The dollar broke through the psychologically significant barrier cufflinks button of 112 yen JPY= for the first time since Jan, 10, rising as much as 1.3 percent to 112.17 yen, The day's strong flows into the dollar/yen trade continued a trend that began after the United States last week reported decent employment data and a pick-up in wages..