Spotlight: Review of worldwide retaliation against U.S.-initiated global trade battle

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-15 21:34:37|Editor: Yurou
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BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Since the start of the year, the United States has been wielding tariffs against its trading partners worldwide to alter what President Donald Trump calls "unfair trade practices."

The moves have triggered tit-for-tat retaliations from countries affected, and are expected to drag down global growth by 0.5 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.

In the latest development, Turkey announced Wednesday that it will increase tariffs on U.S. imports including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics, in response to Trump's decision last Friday to double the tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum.

In part to press Ankara to release U.S. Evangelical pastor Andrew Brundson, Trump raised tariffs on Turkish steel to 50 percent, and aluminum duties to 20 percent.

Below is a review of the international trade spat so far this year.

On Jan. 22, Trump approved tariffs up to 50 percent on imported washing machines for the next three years, and duties as much as 30 percent on imported solar panels for the next four years.

In response, South Korea, one of U.S. major sources of washing machine imports, said it will "actively respond to U.S. trade protectionism."

Seoul notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) on April 6 that it will suspend tariff concessions on 480 million U.S. dollars worth of American imports. It said on May 14 it had issued a request to the WTO for a dispute settlement process with Washington.

On March 23, the United States implemented additional tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, exempting Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union (EU) and Mexico. The exemption for Canada, the EU and Mexico expired on June 30 and Washington refused to extend it.

On April 2, China hit back by adopting tariff hikes on 128 U.S. items, including pork, sparkling wine, nuts, and fresh and dried fruit products.

On May 22, the WTO said Japan, Russia and Turkey warned the United States of retaliatory measures for its steel and aluminum tariffs. One day later, the WTO received a complaint filed by India against the United States.

On May 31, Canada announced it would impose "dollar-for-dollar" tariffs on 16.6 billion Canadian dollars (12.7 billion dollars) worth of U.S. imports on July 1 if Washington does not drop its steel and aluminum tariff threat.

On June 5, Mexico imposed taxes -- with immediate effect -- on U.S. steel and aluminum, pork belly, as well as a range of other agricultural products. Mexico's economy minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, said the tariffs will affect some 3 billion dollars in value terms.

On June 21, India raised tariffs on U.S. goods including soya oil, palm olein oil and cashew nuts. On the same day, Turkey's imposition of tariffs on 266.5 million dollars of U.S. goods took effect.

On June 22, the EU levied duties of 25 percent on 2.8 billion euros (3.2 billion dollars) of U.S. imports in retaliation of Washington's steel and aluminum tariffs.

Trump responded immediately to the EU's move by threatening a 20 percent tariff on cars assembled in the EU and sold to the United States. Brussels said in late July that it was considering tariffs on 20 billion dollars of U.S. goods should Trump proceed with the proposed auto duties.

On July 6, U.S. tariffs on 34 billion dollars of Chinese goods came into force, and China responded by enacting tariffs on 34 billion dollars of goods it buys from the United States.

On July 16, China filed a complaint with the WTO against Washington's proposal on July 10 to levy additional tariffs on 200 billion dollars of Chinese products.

On Aug. 1, Trump called for raising the proposed tariff on 200 billion dollars of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, adding the implementation is pending a public comment process ending on Sept. 5.

China responded two days later by proposing tariffs ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent on 5,207 U.S. goods worth 60 billion dollars.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Aug. 8 that tariffs of 25 percent on 16 billion dollars of U.S. goods -- including autos, fuel, steel products and medical equipment -- will be activated on Aug. 23, the same day when Washington initiates tariffs on an equivalent amount of Chinese imports.