China says tariff threat ‘justified’

This photo taken on August 2, 2018 shows workers at a swimwear factory in Yinglin town in Jinjiang, in China's eastern Fujian Province. China's garments industry is expected to be affected with the escalating US-China trade war. (AFP photo)
Updated 05 August 2018
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China says tariff threat ‘justified’

  • China and the US have been embroiled for months in a trade conflict that has threatened to hurt consumers in both countries
  • Washington claims that China’s export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of US technological know-how

SINGAPORE: China’s foreign minister said on Saturday that his country’s threat to impose retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion of US goods in an escalating trade dispute was “fully justified.”

Beijing threatened on Friday to bring in the levies on products ranging from beef to condoms, after US President Donald Trump’s administration upped the ante in its plans for additional tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion.

Washington suggested the rate on the proposed extra tariffs could be increased from 10 to 25 percent.

China and the US have been embroiled for months in a trade conflict that has threatened to hurt consumers in both countries.

Washington claims that China’s export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of US technological know-how.

Speaking on the sidelines of a security forum in Singapore, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China’s threat of retaliatory tariffs was “fully justified and necessary.”

“These are measures taken out of the consideration for upholding the interests of the Chinese people,” he said, speaking through a translator.

He said the move was also aimed at upholding the “global free trade regime.” 

Wang also hit back at comments by top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who ridiculed China’s tariff threat as “weak” and said the world’s second-largest economy was in significant “trouble.”

“As to whether China’s economy is doing well or not, I think it is all too clear to the whole international community,” Wang said.

In early July, the US imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, with another $16 billion to be targeted in coming weeks, sparking retaliatory measures from China. Days later, Washington unveiled a list of another $200 billion in Chinese goods.

But Trump raised the stakes this week with a threat to lift the tariff rate.

China has said that new duties will be applied only if Washington pulls the trigger on its new tariffs.

Decoder

China-US Trade War

In early July, the US imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, with another $16 billion to be targeted in coming weeks, sparking retaliatory measures from China. Days later, Washington unveiled a list of another $200 billion in Chinese goods that would be hit with 10 percent import duties.


Ryanair inks new deals with unions in Europe

Updated 49 min 42 sec ago
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Ryanair inks new deals with unions in Europe

  • Ryanair pilots across Europe staged a 24-hour stoppage in September to push their demands also for better pay and conditions

LONDON: Ryanair has inked deals with more unions across Europe, the Irish no-frills airline said Friday as it looks to avoid further strike action threatened by pilots and cabin crew.
“These signed agreements with our pilot unions in Portugal, the UK, Italy and shortly in Spain, demonstrate the considerable progress we’re making in concluding union agreements with our people in our major EU markets,” Ryanair’s head of human resources Eddie Wilson said in a company statement.
But the latest agreements are only a stepping stone toward the key demand of Ryanair staff outside Ireland that the airline stop employing them under Irish legislation.
Employees argue that the status quo creates huge insecurity for them, blocking access to state benefits in their own countries.
Ryanair’s statement came one day after Belgian unions representing the airline’s cabin crew threatened “several strike days before the end of the year” by Europe-wide employees.
Ryanair pilots across Europe staged a 24-hour stoppage in September to push their demands also for better pay and conditions, plunging tens of thousands of passengers into transport chaos at the peak of the busy summer season.
In July meanwhile, strikes by cockpit and cabin crew disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travelers.
Earlier this month, Ryanair slashed its profits forecast and signaled job losses in the Netherlands and Germany as it reported on the fallout of the pan-European strikes.
An update on its earnings outlook and past performance is due Monday when Ryanair publishes half-year results.