China confirms 80% tariff on Australian barley

The news that China was to impose an import tariff on Australian barley broke back on May 10

The tariff imposition has been announced in a statement from China’s Ministry of Commerce
  • anti-dumping tariff would be 73.6 per cent
  • while the anti-subsidy tariff would be 6.9 per cent
  • will remain in place for five years
This from China is in retaliation for Australia leading calls for an investigation into the origin and spread of COVID-19. China also halted imports of Australian beef last week as part of their response.
 The news that China was to impose an import tariff on Australian barley broke back on May 10 

11 Wuhan residents traveling back from abroad were found infected with the coronavirus

The Global Times conveying the report citing China customs

  • 11 Wuhan residents traveling back from abroad were found infected with the novel coronavirus as of 6 am Tuesday
Well, that’d suck.
So, its probably reasonable to say that some of these folks (likely all of them) headed away from Wuhan while inflected but not showing any symptoms, and by the time they returned began to show symptoms (fever, for example).
Its probably also reasonable to think they have infected others while away.

US Treas Sec Mnuchin says tariffs on China to remain in place until phase 2

US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin

  • says tariffs will stay in place until there’s a phase 2 of china trade agreement
  • says Trump may consider removing tariffs under phase 2
  • says China has made strong commitments it will not manipulate currency

US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin 

US negotiators offer to cut Chinese tariffs by up to 50% on $360B in imports – WSJ sources

Breaking report

  • US would reimpose original tariff level if China fails to carry out pledges
  • Would also cancel planned Dec tariffs
  • US tariff offer made in recent days as both sides seek trade deal
  • US asking China for firm commitments on increased US products
Aside from the ‘firm commitments on purchases’ we don’t know what the US is asking for from China. We also don’t know if it’s acceptable to Beijing. Looks like they’ve left the ball in Xi’s court but I’d assume (hope?) they already had some indication from China about what they wanted.
What’s also important to note here is that this would be a pretty substantial phase one trade deal. Lowering tariffs by 50% on $360B in imports would be a big step. The total tariffs right now are on $550B of goods with China countering on $185B billion.
It’s not clear which tariffs these might be as the US added tariffs in sequences on $34B, $200B, $300B and $125B along with some tweaks at various points. Chances are that this is mostly from the Sept 1 round of $125B. China had previously demanded the US remove these but the compromise here might have been that these stay on at a lower rate (it would be 5%) with tariffs from previous rounds being cut.
Update: The full story is out right now with a few more details
  • The tariff-reduction offer was made in the past five days or so
  • US side has demanded that Beijing make firm commitments to purchase large quantities of US agricultural and other products, to better protect US IP rights and to allow greater access to China’s financial-services sector
China has already taken action on Items #2 and #3. I doubt firm commitments on purchases is a deal breaker but the WSJ report notes that China has balked at firm purchases because they run counter to WTO rules. In the bigger picture, the US demanding China violate the WTO is part of the US strategy to undermine the WTO.

Near-deal from May now being used as benchmark on how much tariffs to be rolled back – report

US contemplates removing more tariffs than anticipated

China and the US are discussing linking the size of tariff rollbacks to the preliminary terms set in the deal that failed in May, according to Bloomberg who cites two people familiar.
The White House is still debating the precise percentage internally but the report says a deal would at least include removing the Sept tariffs and eliminating the planned Dec tariffs.
China has demanded that all tariffs imposed after May be removed immediately and those from beforehand be lifted gradually.
The report says that some of the $250B in tariffs imposed in 2018 are under consideration to be rolled back and that opposition to the move has softened. Overall, the White House is looking at the tariffs holistically and debating on whether to remove somewhere between 35% and 60%. Those percentages fall inline with what percentage of the overall deal Phase One accomplishes.
For reference, the US currently has tariffs on $360B in goods. That number was $250B before the May talks fell apart. On May 10, the US also raised the tariff rate on those $250B in goods to 25% from 10%.

Overall this report reflects a generally positive take and shows that both sides are working on a deal and perhaps closer than anticipated. This is the first indication they’re working off the May text but it’s also a hint that the US may remove more tariffs than anticipated. It would be a great signal for markets if anything from May or earlier was lowered.

A look at the US-China trade war and its impact on markets

The impact escalation will have

The impact escalation will haveThe focus of the market on the China-US trade war is acute due to China’s and the United States economic weight. In 2018 the US’s GDP was above $20 trillion and China’s GDP over $14 trillion, which makes them the world’s two largest economies by nominal GDP.

Furthermore, consider that when you add these two countries GDP together, they account for more than 40% of the world’s entire GDP. So, the first point to grasp is that the significance of a US-China trade war is really a global growth problem.

When you factor in the alliances and trade partners of both countries, the legitimate concern is that a China-US trade war spills over across the entire globe and slows down the entire world economy.

Trade between the US and China

Continue reading »

More on those China tariff waiver headlines

Via Reuters

  • China grants tariff waivers for US soybean imports of between 2-3 million tonnes
  • China grants several domestic firms new tariff waivers for US Soybean imports
Nikkei up +0.21%, Hang Seng +0.35% and Shanghai Comp +0.63%. Gentle risk on tones around as JPY and CHF weaken and AUD and NZD strengthen as you would expect for risk on trading.
Via Reuters

Fitch reports on Chinese tariffs impacting US agriculture

Chinese tariffs stinging farmers

Chinese tariffs stinging farmers
  • Chinese tariffs on US agricultural imports escalate trade related risks to US farm sector , which is experiencing falling sales and land values
  • Ongoing trade wars impact equipment loan and lease ABS collateral performance
  • Ongoing trade wars have placed greater pressure on already stressed US agricultural sector
Biting tariffs will get Trump to the dealing table quicker than anything else, I would say. He won’t want to see tariffs stinging the US.

US imposes new China tariffs, raising levies to pre-WWII level

The U.S. slapped fresh tariffs on Chinese goods on Sunday to bring the average to more than 20%, comparable with levels seen during the protectionist era preceding World War II.

At 12:01 a.m. EDT, the U.S. imposed additional tariffs of 15% on about $110 billion in imports from China, covering 3,243 items. Consumer goods account for about half — far more than the 20%-plus of the previous round last September, which included such products as furniture. China’s corresponding tariffs against U.S. products took effect at the same time.

U.S. President Donald Trump postponed tariffs on 555 items on the original list — including smartphones — until Dec. 15 to soften the impact on the year-end shopping season. More than 80% of American imports of these goods come from China, and finding alternative sources is difficult. Higher tariffs are likely to lead to price increases, which risk weighing on consumer spending and thus the broader economy.

Digital consumer devices such as smartwatches are among the largest import categories by value affected by Sunday’s tariffs. More than half of all apparel is taxed as well.

China is retaliating with additional duties of 5% to 10% on $75 billion in imports from the U.S. The first tranche covers 1,717 goods including soybeans and crude oil, while the second set being implemented Dec. 15 will cover 3,361 items including autos.

But all told, fewer than 1,800 of these items — only about 35%, including crude oil — are new additions. Most have already been hit by previous rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs.

Beijing has already imposed tariffs on about 70% of its imports from the U.S. by value, and after these rounds, the only items left untouched will be those that it would be disadvantageous to domestic industry to tax, such as large aircraft. Previous tariff rounds have already led to sharp declines in imports of affected goods, and further hikes are unlikely to have much of an effect.

With the September duties, the average American tariff on Chinese goods rises to slightly above 21%, up from about 3% before the trade war, according to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. China’s average tariff on imports from the U.S. climbs to nearly 22%. Continue reading »

Trump turned down idea from Mnuchin to warn the Chinese

Headline says: “Pres. announced tariffs after tense oval office meeting”

There is a headline saying that the president announced tariffs after a tense oval office meeting. According to the report, the president ruled out Treasury Secretary’s Mnuchin’s proposal to warn China of potential new tariffs.

It does not say how Lighthizer sided, but got to think he and Navarro were a thumbs up.  Larry Kudlow was likely a thumbs down.  If Wibur Ross was in the room, he would be a thumbs up too.