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US business chiefs state case against tariffs (3)

(China Daily)    15:00, August 28, 2018

US business executives testified last week at hearings at the US International Trade Commission on the proposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports. The hearings were due to end on Monday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Little difference

Only a handful of products were removed from duties after hearings on the first two rounds of tariffs.

Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow and trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, said the appeals and complaints voiced over the proposed tariffs would probably make little difference to the Trump administration.

"I expect financial turmoil and a slowing of world economic growth" following escalating tariffs, Hufbauer told China Daily.

Jon Taylor, a professor of political science at the University of St Thomas in Houston, said he wanted to be optimistic about the hearings.

"But Trump does not appear to care about their concerns, because he believes that their short-term pain will result in long-term gain," Taylor said. "Simply put, the complaints to the USTR will fall on deaf ears. Sadly, this means that the tariffs are not going to stop anytime soon."

David Dollar, senior fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution, said he believed at least three-quarters of those who had testified so far and would do so on Monday are opposed to the tariffs.

Most of the products proposed for tariffs by the Trump administration are materials and parts that US companies use to be more competitive, said Dollar, a former US Treasury economic and financial emissary to China.

"So taxing them will hurt US firms and consumers. If the US proceeds with the tariffs on $200 billion (worth of goods) in September, and China retaliates with tariffs on $60 billion from the US, then about half of total trade between the two big partners will be seriously distorted," he said.

Ying Wang in Washington contributed to this story.


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