It sure looks like China’s preparing for a trade war with the US
China is looking for ways to wean itself off its dependence on US exports
On Thursday, China’s commerce ministry announced that the country had agreed to lower or cancel existing tariffs, or border taxes, on thousands of goods from India, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Laos starting July 1.
Trade experts say that the move is plain evidence that China is looking for alternative sources for goods that it imports from the US. China is currently planning on imposing sweeping tariffs on numerous goods from the US, retaliating against Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods that are scheduled to begin next week.
For example, China plans to lower tariffs on soybeans imported from those five Asian countries — all of which are party to the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA). That should help Chinese consumers find alternatives to soybeans imported from the US, which are going to become much more expensive when China hits them with tariffs.
“There’s no question that China is preparing for a trade war”
China is currently planning on placing tariffs on $34 billion worth of US goods in response to Trump’s plan to hit $34 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs next week. Beijing is attempting to dissuade Trump from considering additional tariffs in the future by matching the scale of the US’s first batch of them.
China’s plan to impose tariffs on soybeans is going to hit the US hard. China buys about a third of the US’s soybean exports, making it far and away the largest importer in the world for the American crop.
Experts say that China’s move will also help it foster closer ties with its neighbors at a time when US influence in the region is ebbing.