USA trade deficit edges up to $50 billion in March


Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing Thursday that China will not bow to any pressure and warned it has the "determination and ability to defend its own interests". "If the USA tariff measures are implemented, China will have to take necessary countermeasures".

According to Trump the duties have brought in an additional $100 billion a year paid by China and other countries, but in fact the taxes are paid by the importers, and ultimately passed on at least partially to consumers.

China's Commerce Ministry confirmed the latest United States tariff increase on its website.

"We hope the United States and the Chinese side can meet each other halfway and work hard together to resolve existing problems through cooperation and consultation", the Chinese commerce ministry said in a statement.

However, with no action from the Trump administration to reverse the increase as negotiations moved into a second day, US Customs and Border Protection imposed the new 25 percent duty on affected US-bound cargoes leaving China after 12:01 am EDT (0401 GMT) today.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which dropped more than 1% early Friday, remained where they were when tariff increase kicked in, up 0.3%. Trump tweeted, threatening to raise the tariffs.

Trump began the standoff because of complaints about unfair Chinese trade practices.

It would take six to nine months for the tariffs themselves to fully impact prices, she said.

"What I'm seeing is a couple blinded by anger, fighting and pouring toxic words on one another: One side is threatening tariff hikes and the other talks about countermeasures", said Chen Fengying, a senior researcher at the China National Association for International Studies. "I think there is hope", he said. Even worse, the price went up to 92 US dollars for dryers, which are not subject to the tariffs, because the price increase was masked by the rise in the price of dryers. The measure does not affect items now en route from China, giving investors hope that the two sides can still come to an agreement before the next shipments.

US President Donald Trump said he expected "a very strong day" at the negotiating table with China. They've increased consumer costs by $1.4 billion a month, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Princeton and Columbia University.

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European backers of the deal have been trying to salvage the agreement, but Tehran has complained that the process was too slow. Geng said China " calls on all parties concerned to exercise restraint" and avoid escalating tensions.

European stock markets bounced off six-week lows, with Germany's trade-sensitive DAX index leading the charge with a 1% rise.

This means the rest of us should be prepared for more pain ahead.

The two sides are scheduled to resume talks Friday morning, but there is little optimism about them.

Even though there had been growing optimism about progress in trade talks recently, sticking points have persisted throughout. "In regard to the "structural" issues - including intellectual property and forced technology transfers - what sort of enforcement mechanism will be established?"

Goldman Sachs wrote in a note: "This creates an unofficial window, potentially lasting a couple of weeks, in which negotiations can continue and generates a "soft" deadline to reach a deal". The White House statement said they also had a working dinner with Liu, who is leading the Chinese side.

It went on to explain that China wouldn't make concessions because the United States has been a bully. You know, we're the piggybank that everybody steals from, including China.

"Any sharp moves higher in US yields both adversely impact the valuation of their existing Treasuries stock and could spark a dollar rally", the strategist said.

While Trump on Wednesday insisted that Liu was coming to make a deal and dubbed him a "good man", he later told a rally of supporters that China "broke the deal" by backsliding on prior commitments, leading him to order higher tariffs. But Chinese state media reports, intended as propaganda for the Chinese public, can offer clues to the regime's attitudes.

The International Monetary Fund said the row poses a "threat to the global economy".