White House accuses Beijing of “distorting global markets”

The White House has accused Beijing of “distorting global markets” after imposing tariffs on over 128 U.S. produced goods, valued at around $3 billion.

The Chinese finance minister said that introducing the new tariffs was a means of re-balancing trade relations with the US after President Donald Trump’s decision to slap large tariffs on Chinese manufactured steel and aluminum last month.

The Trump administration indicated that Chinese dumping of steel and aluminum had severely damaged US steel manufacturing.

The duties of up to 25% on 128 American imports went into effect on Monday and targets US goods including fresh and dried fruit, frozen pork, nuts, wine, and ginseng.

“China’s subsidization and continued overcapacity is the root cause of the steel crises,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement.

“Instead of targeting fairly traded US exports, China needs to stop its unfair trading practices which are harming US national security and distorting global markets.”

It should be noted that the tariffs don’t affect more sensitive areas like soybeans or Boeing aircraft.

Monica de Bolle, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told the AFP that China’s response Monday was “symbolic.”

“They’ve done nothing on sorghum. They’ve done nothing on soybeans,” she said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 458.92 points, or 1.9 percent, to 23,644.19 on Monday, while the S&P 500 dropped 58.99 points, or 2.23 percent, to 2,581.88 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 193.33 points, or 2.74 percent, to 6,870.12.