China 'wont hesitate' to fight back if America escalates trade dispute

Threats of a trade war are already harming business confidence and investment decisions, and could end up trashing global economic growth and job creation if a full-blown economic conflict erupts, the World Trade Organisation has warned.
It predicts another year of strong growth in global trade which is “vital for continued economic growth and recovery and to support job creation”, but warned the US and China’s spat could derail this overdue recovery.
“This important progress could be quickly undermined if governments resort to restrictive trade policies, especially in a tit-for-tat process that could lead to an unmanageable escalation,” said WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo.
“A cycle of retaliation is the last thing the world economy needs.”
But China has signalled it is prepared to ramp up retaliation against the US, indicating the WTO may be fighting a losing battle.
China 'wont hesitate' to fight back if America escalates trade dispute

Roberto Azevedo said trade growth is boosting the world economy, but this opportunity could be squandered by trade restrictions flaring up

"If the United States takes any action to escalate the situation, China will not hesitate to fight back,” said Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng.
President Xi Jinping this week said he could open up the economy further including by cutting tariffs on cars  comments which raised hopes that the trade war would be defused, and which led America’s Donald Trump to promise to “make great progress together”.
But Mr Gao stressed that this is unrelated to US tariffs against Chinese imports: "I hope some people in the US do not misjudge the situation.”
Very thankful for President Xi of China’s kind words on tariffs and automobile barriers...also, his enlightenment on intellectual property and technology transfers. We will make great progress together!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 10, 2018
He added that negotiations cannot begin yet, which raises the prospect of a series of tit-for-tat tariffs.
“It is not a matter of whether China is willing to participate in the negotiations. It is about the US not showing sincerity at all,” Mr Gao said.
The world's two largest economies have threatened each other with tens of billions of dollars' worth of tariffs in recent weeks, on products ranging from Chinese steel and aluminium to US pork, soya beans and tobacco.
President Trump argues that China has been trading on unfair terms, undercutting US producers and harming its heavy industries, and that intellectual property theft has harmed US technology companies.
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The WTO expects global merchandise trade volumes to rise by 4.4pc this year then 4pc in 2019, slowing a touch from 4.7pc last year.
“Balanced against these broadly positive signs is a rising tide of anti-trade sentiment and the increased willingness of governments to employ restrictive trade measures,” the WTO said.
“Recent measures have been applied to widely traded goods supplied by a large number of countries, with counter actions promised if these go into effect. An escalating cycle of retaliation may yet be avoided if negotiations manage to diffuse tensions, but this is not guaranteed.
“As always, the WTO stands ready to help members reach mutually beneficial outcomes.”
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