China, US almost at (trade) war

If the conflict occurred only between the US and China Việt Nam would have a good chance to export to the US

China is the biggest buyer of US soybeans, picking up about a third of the entire USA crop. Already upset by the trade war, the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), whose members include Tapestry Inc., Ralph Lauren Corp., and VF Corp., had previously issued a letter opposing Trump's trade policy on March 20.

The early declines followed an announcement by the Chinese government that it plans to impose tariffs of 25 percent on a list of US goods worth $50 billion, including soybeans and aircraft.

For its part, China has appeared anxious to avert a trade conflict but threatened a proportionate response to any unilateral US action.

Cui Tiankai, Chinese Ambassador to the US, said if another round of tariffs or similar action is taken by Trump on intellectual property then China "will certainly take countermeasures of the same proportion and the same scale, same intensity".

Its major exports - cars, computers and electrical equipment, as well as iron and steel - have all been in the cross hairs amid the Sino-US tensions.

"They've done nothing on sorghum".

"Agriculture, that's one area where it's pretty evident China would use to hit back at Trump", he said.

And Beijing has not yet responded to White House plans announced March 23 to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of other Chinese exports in retaliation for the alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property.

Some analysts pointed to comments by recently-installed White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow who suggested President Donald Trump's strident approach to China was a negotiating tactic to win concessions.

The import-export dispute goes back to last month, when Trump slapped levies on steel and aluminum from certain countries including China.

The proposed list covers approximately 1,300 products imported from China, including industries such as aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery, the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement.

But President Trump tweeted the U.S. was not in a trade war with China. "Korea is willing to do that", Alden said.

USA economists said they expect the broader economic impact of the measures to be limited if they move forward, but warned that the risk of further escalation could weigh on business activity.

And Beijing has options.

Brazil and Argentina are the main competitors to US growers in the market for soybeans and corn. It could likewise find other suppliers for soy, even if China now relies most heavily on American producers. A report in state-controlled media on Wednesday described the development of advanced manufacturing as "an inherent requirement for the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry, and it is also the only way for China's economy to enter a high-quality development stage". Over the last five weeks stocks have plunged numerous times as investors reacted to tariff developments with shock and concern that an increase in protectionism will hurt worldwide trade and company profits.

But pressure is mounting on Trump as metal prices begin to rise - something Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted would be painless for most businesses and consumers.

USA neighbors Canada and Mexico are exempted from the tariffs, with Trump saying other countries could potentially receive similar exemptions if they can "ensure that their products no longer threaten our security".

On the other hand, other countries may benefit from the tariffs on USA goods.

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade tit-for-tat.

But de Bolle noted that talks are continuing between Washington and Beijing. But if the U.S. does get into a full-scale trade war, it would be the first time since the Great Depression.

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