China state media condemn US tariffs, leave room for negotiation

This file photo taken on April 9, 2018 shows workers transferring soybeans at a port in Nantong in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. (AFP)
Updated 16 June 2018

China state media condemn US tariffs, leave room for negotiation

  • China said it would impose additional 25 percent tariffs on 659 US goods worth $50 billion, in response to the US imposition of tariffs
  • “The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls,” the official Xinhua news agency said in an editorial, echoing official comments that China would defend its interests in a trade war

SHANGHAI: China responded forcefully in state media on Saturday after the administration of US President Donald Trump said it would impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, but some commentary left room for further negotiations.
Late on Friday, China said it would impose additional 25 percent tariffs on 659 US goods worth $50 billion, in response to the US imposition of tariffs.
“The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls,” the official Xinhua news agency said in an editorial, echoing official comments that China would defend its interests in a trade war.
“Following the path of expanding and opening up is China’s best response to the trade dispute between China and the United States, and is also the responsibility that major countries should have to the world,” it added.
An editorial in the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily condemned what it called the Trump administration’s “obsession with playing the disgraceful role of global economic disruptor.”
It added, “There is no winner in a trade war, and the US instigation of a trade war is extremely destructive to global trade, economic globalization, multilateral trade systems and global production supply chains.
“The whole world will be picking up the bill for the mistaken acts of US unilateralism.”
The Global Times, a tabloid run by the People’s Daily, called the US move “an irresponsible act on behalf of the White House to disrupt international trade just to appeal to American voters who are convinced their president is fighting for them.”
In an editorial, the official English-language China Daily said the measure was “a stark violation of the core spirit of recent trade talks between China and the United States and is set to backfire if Washington doesn’t back off from its dangerous adventurism.”
While calling Trump’s administration “inconsistent and precarious,” it expressed hope a trade war might yet be averted.
“Given the frequent flip-flopping of the Donald Trump administration, it is still too early to conclude that a trade war will start,” the editorial said, adding that China’s stance had been consistent.
“(China) welcomes dialogue and is not afraid of trade war threats.”
The reaction to the US tariffs was muted on Chinese social media, where it failed to break into the top 100 trending topics on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.


Boeing extends factory shutdown in Washington state

Updated 19 min 49 sec ago

Boeing extends factory shutdown in Washington state

  • Shutdown would continue indefinitely in an effort to protect staff from COVID-19
  • Boeing currently employs around 70,000 people in Washington state

WASHINGTON: Boeing has said it will indefinitely extend a shutdown at its factories in Washington state because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The aerospace giant had already halted production at its Puget Sound facility near Seattle, where the company builds the long-range 777 jet and other models, after announcing a two-week stoppage last month.
It had also shut its other major state factory at Moses Lake because of the 737 MAX grounding.
Boeing announced Sunday that the shutdown would continue indefinitely in an effort to protect staff from COVID-19, which has already claimed the life of one employee at the company’s Everett facility.
“The health and safety of our employees, their families and our communities is our shared priority,” Boeing’s commercial airplanes division president Stan Deal said in a statement.
Boeing was already facing significant headwinds prior to the coronavirus pandemic because of the crisis surrounding the 737 MAX, which has been grounded for more than a year following two fatal crashes.
But the pandemic has further hit the company’s outlook with most commercial airline travel suspended and major carriers thrust into a life-or-death fight.
The company is seeking more than $60 billion in federal support for the US aerospace industry in the wake of the two crises.
It announced a voluntary worker layoff plan on Thursday and said it expected “several thousand employees” to take a severance package or retire.
Boeing currently employs around 70,000 people in Washington state.