China trade war could benefit Europe, Mexico, Japan

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The country's total exports amounted to $23.212 billion in the last fiscal year of 2017/18, up 14 percent over the preceding fiscal year.

The US and China are locked in a trade war since Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March a year ago, a move that sparked fears of a global trade war.

"Other countries would capture substantially less". -China trade war stands to benefit from their stand-off the United Nations said on Monday, suggesting others could cash in instead, with the European Union possibly winning big.

There are no plans yet for President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet soon in hope of finalizing a trade deal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday.

"If we can't get to the deadline, it's not because we haven't worked around the clock", he said.

The confrontation quickly escalated, and in September 2018 the United States imposed 10% tariffs covering about $200 billion of Chinese imports, to which China retaliated by imposing tariffs on imports from the United States worth an additional $60 billion.

USA companies would capture only 6% of the $250bn of the affected Chinese exports, while Chinese firms would retain 12%, despite the higher cost of trade, the study said. Japan and Canada will see exports increase by more than United States dollars 20 billion each, it said. USA firms will retain less than 10 percent, while Chinese firms will capture only about 5 percent. The results are consistent across different sectors, from machinery to wood products, and furniture, communication equipment, chemicals to precision instruments.

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However, Unctad warned that while some countries are bound to benefit from the trade tensions, certain risks could have global effects.

The study also underlines the "common concern" that trade disputes have an unavoidable impact on the "still fragile" global economy, particularly on developing, commodity-rich countries that are dependent on exports. "One major concern is the risk that trade tensions could spiral into currency wars, making dollar-denominated debt more hard to service", the report added.

Specifically, the legislation would give the President more authority to increase tariffs if other countries' tariff and non-tariff barriers are too restrictive. Tariff increases penalize not only the assembler of a product, but also suppliers along the chain.

Lighthizer held a closed-door briefing with USA senators on Wednesday on the upcoming China talks and the proposed new trade agreement between United States, Mexico and Canada. The Commerce Department is facing a February 17 deadline to present Trump with recommendations in its 232 investigation into USA auto imports that Trump has threatened to use to impose tariffs of as much as 25 percent on imported cars.

The 10-percent tariffs were initially due to rise to 25 percent in January 2019.

President Donald Trump's top negotiators are headed to Beijing next week to continue trade talks as the clock runs down ahead of a March 1 deadline.

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