India: ‘In line with WTO rule’: Govt sources rebut Trump

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

‘In line with WTO rule’: Govt sources rebut Trump’s ‘high tariff’ charge

India’s tariffs are in line with the World Trade Organization rules, the government sources said, adding that US tariffs on some items were much higher than India’s.

INDIA Updated: Jun 27, 2019 11:44 IST

Reuters
Reuters
New Delhi
World Trade Organization,WTO rule,high tariff
Earlier Trump tweeted that he looked forward to meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 summit in Japan, but said that for years India had put “very high tariffs against the US.”(AFP File Photo)

India’s tariffs are not that high compared to other developing countries, government sources told Reuters on Thursday, reacting to United States President Donald Trump’s call to withdraw what he said were very high tariffs.

Earlier Trump tweeted that he looked forward to meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 summit in Japan, but said that for years India had put “very high tariffs against the United States”. Adding: “This is unacceptable and the tariffs must be withdrawn!”

This month, India slapped higher tariffs on 28 US products in retaliation for Washington’s withdrawal this month of tariff-free trade for certain Indian goods.

India’s tariffs are in line with the World Trade Organization rules, the government sources said, adding that US tariffs on some items were much higher than India’s.

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(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Jun 27, 2019 11:32 IST

South Korea Actively Considering Filing A Complaint With The WTO Against China

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS) 

South Korea’s government will consider filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization against what they described as China’s trade retaliation after Seoul agreed to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system, the ruling party said on Tuesday.

Beijing is widely believed in South Korea to be retaliating against some of its companies and cancelling performances by Korean artists after South Korea’s decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

“We will actively consider whether China’s action is in violation of the South Korea-China free trade deal, while stepping up efforts to minimize damage on South Korean industries,” Lee Hyun-jae, chairman of the Liberty Korea Party’s policy committee, said after meeting senior government officials.

China rejected applications by some Korean carriers, including Jeju Air (089590.KS), to add charter flights between the two countries in March, Yonhap News Agency said on Tuesday, in what is seen as China’s latest retaliation against South Korean firms. Their applications for charter flights to China were rejected for January and February, with no reason given, Yonhap said.

The Chinese government last week ordered tour operators in China to stop selling trips to South Korea, days after the Seoul government secured land for the THAAD system from Lotte Group.

Lee said on Tuesday the government had since agreed to provide an additional 50 billion won ($43.3 million) worth of “special loans” to tourism companies that are experiencing business difficulties.

Chinese authorities have also closed nearly two dozen of Lotte Group’s retail stores following inspections, Lotte said on Monday.

China objects to the THAAD deployment, saying its territory is the target of the system’s far-reaching radar. South Korea and the United States have said the missile system is aimed only at curbing North Korean provocations.

(Reporting by Daewoung Kim and Hyunjoo Jin, Additional reporting by Joyce Lee; Writing by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Paul Tait)

China stresses Washington’s obligations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

China stresses Washington’s obligations

CHINA will pay close attention to the trade policies implemented by US President-elect Donald Trump, and will defend its rights in the World Trade Organization, according to a senior Chinese official.

In a campaign punctuated by incendiary accusations, Trump promised to declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, and threatened to slap punitive 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports to protect jobs.

However, China’s Deputy International Trade Minister Zhang Xiangchen said in Washington that the US has obligations as a member of the WTO.

“Definitely we have paid close attention to the remarks made by Mr Trump during his presidential campaign,” Zhang told reporters.

“And we will also (be) closely observing what he will do after he takes office.”

But he seemed to cast doubt on whether Trump would follow through on his threats.

“I think after Mr Trump takes office he will be reminded that the United States should honor its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization.”

When asked if China would retaliate, he said that “as a member of the WTO, China also has the right to ensure its rights.”

Zhang also told reporters that economists and government officials agree China is not manipulating its currency, and “significant progress has been made” toward establishing a market-based exchange-rate regime.

Chinese officials are in Washington for the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, a forum to promote trade and investment and resolve disputes. Zhange said that officials on both sides feel strongly that the bilateral trade relationship will continue to be important “no matter how the leadership changes.”

US Trade Representative Michael Froman told reporters following the final JCCT meeting of the Obama administration that the relationship with China is key, but acknowledged there are “headwinds around the world about the benefits of trade and skepticism on the US-China relationship in particular.”

He stressed that “the American public expects the relationship be based on a fair and level playing field, and greater reciprocity.”

U.S. And China Still In Talks Over Trade Pact

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai China Daily News Paper)

China, US still in talks over trade pact

CHINA and the United States are still in frequent discussion about a bilateral trade pact, despite a challenging global trade environment, a Chinese commerce official said yesterday.

China is keen to maintain open markets for its goods as its economy grows at its slowest pace in 25 years, but it faces rising trade tensions as its imports deteriorate faster than exports, setting it up for another record trade surplus.

Last year, the US trade deficit with China was US$336.2 billion, according to the US Trade Representative’s office. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to slap tariffs on Chinese products to show that the United States is “not playing games anymore.”

The United States — China’s second-largest trade partner after the European Union — has imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese products and also brought cases against China at the World Trade Organization.

“The global economy has not emerged from its difficulties, which has led a lot of countries to adopt trade protectionist policies,” China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said in a rare conversation with reporters over coffee in a Starbucks cafe near Tian’anmen Square in Beijing.

Chinese steel exports have surged this year even as global growth remains weak, prompting complaints by some Western countries that China was “dumping” excess capacity.

“There is no evidence China is dumping steel products. Growth in exports is due to greater competitiveness of Chinese firms, as costs have fallen,” Shen said.

In response to claims by the head of the US Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg that China gave its exporters 10 times more financing than the United States did in 2015, Shen said there are disagreements on what constitutes subsidies. If there are disputes, the two sides can take it to the WTO, he said.

Shen did not offer any details on plans announced on Tuesday to open more sectors to foreign investment, but said foreign companies are not investing in China as much as before because competition from Chinese companies is increasing.

The biggest challenge facing China’s economy is the need to effectively implement supply-side reform to improve the structure of the economy, he said.

“There is demand for quality products, but that has to be met with effective supply. It requires innovation, which is difficult,” Shen said.

“In the past, when facing slowing growth, we would stimulate demand — loosen monetary policy, use fiscal measures,” he said.

“Now we are focusing primarily on using structural supply-side reform. This is the right direction, but it’s not easy.”