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14 September 2018, 03:22 | Kelvin Horton
Running Out of Tariff Options, China Takes Aim at American Companies
"The Trump administration should not be mistaken that China will surrender to the USA demands".
"What I worry about is what if China, instead of growing 6 percent, grows 3 (percent); That we actually have such an impact on the Chinese economy that their growth rate is (stifled) - that will impact everyone and you have to wonder if it's worth it", Gutierrez told CNBC's Oriel Morrison on Thursday.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Wednesday invited Chinese officials to a new round of talks later this month over USA threatened tariffs on Chinese exports worth $200 billion, and a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters Thursday that Beijing welcomed the invitation.
So far, the United States and China have hit $50 billion worth of each others' goods with tariffs in a dispute over USA demands that China make sweeping economic policy changes, including ending joint venture and technology transfer policies, rolling back industrial subsidy programs and better protecting American intellectual property.
Larry Kudlow, who heads the White House Economic Council, told Fox Business Network that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had sent an invitation to senior Chinese officials, but he declined to provide further details.
According to a Tuesday report by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, the Chinese government has suspended issuing new licenses to American companies that want to conduct business in China.
The administration is readying a final list of $200 billion in Chinese imports on which it plans to levy tariffs of 10-25 percent in coming days, greatly expanding the trade war between the world's two largest economies. "That's what we've been asking for months and months".
The majority of American companies in China say they are hurting from the escalating US-China trade spat, reporting increased costs, lower profits and stepped-up scrutiny, a survey showed Thursday. "We may think that China's rise may be bad for the USA, that China is a strategic competitor. but the moment China's growth rate declines, we will regret it", he said at the Milken Institute's annual Asia Summit in Singapore.
But Kudlow was non-committal over the chances of a breakthrough, adding: "I guarantee nothing".
In a move to defuse trade war tensions, Beijing has welcomed Washington's offer to hold another meeting to sort out their differences.
The timing and location of the proposed meeting were unclear, the sources familiar with the matter said.
USA business groups are escalating their fight against Trump's tariffs, with over 60 industry groups launching a coalition to put political pressure on the Trump administration to seek alternatives to tariffs.
On Thursday, the U.S. business lobbies AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai published a joint survey showing that the negative impact on United States companies in China of tit-for-tat tariffs Washington and Beijing have imposed on one another was "clear and far reaching".
Mid-level US and Chinese officials met on August 22 and 23 with no agreements.
A US Treasury spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against United States companies operating there.
Some 63.6 percent of more than 430 companies that responded to the American chambers' survey said profits and customer demand have fallen due to the USA tariffs and 62.5 percent said the same about retaliatory Chinese tariffs.
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