China files WTO challenge to Trump´s U.S. tariffs threat

Asian shares drift lower as China data trade cast shadows

US-China trade war: Beijing's trade surplus swells as exporters rush shipments before tariffs go into effect

While the Europeans might not approve of the US leader's tariffs and decision to work outside existing multilateral bodies, they share some of his concerns about market access to China.

Trump said the European Union was a foe in trade while also calling Russia and China foes in some respects, before his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. Trump himself threatened to take action against the WTO earlier this month after the Axios news agency reported that his administration had drafted legislation to withdraw the USA from the organization, a move the president repeatedly told advisers he was considering.

Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

Washington has warned it may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - almost the total amount of United States imports from China previous year.

That means headwinds not just for China's economy, but for the world's too.

"The China-US trade friction unilaterally provoked by the United States will have an impact on the Chinese and US economies", said Mao Shengyong, a spokesman for the national statistics bureau.

The WTO complaint comes less than a week after the Trump administration published a preliminary list of more than 6,000 Chinese products that it wants to hit with an additional 10 percent duty.

On July 12, China's commerce ministry issued a statement flatly denying that it had stolen US technology, while charging that the United States had broken terms of mutual agreement "in order to serve the country's political needs".

"Let me say we will ensure the implementation of the signed contracts and we will cut the time for approval procedures", Li told Airbus China president Eric Chen, a pool report said.

For the first half of this year, Chinese exports to the USA were 13.6% higher.

A general view of a container port in Shanghai. Up to now Beijing has waited for the U.S. to "fire the first shot" in the escalating trade war.

If the US goes ahead with tariffs on $250 billion, the hit to China's growth could mean a drag of 0.3 percentage point, according to Morgan Stanley. Both official and private business surveys reported softer export orders last month.

China's economy has already felt the pinch from a multi-year crackdown on riskier lending that has driven up corporate borrowing costs, prompting the People's Bank of China to pump out more cash by cutting reserve requirements for lenders.

Investors fear a prolonged trade battle with the United States could harm business confidence and investment, disrupting global supply chains and harming growth in China and the rest of the world.

It said that, because "only with the country will there be a home", Chinese citizens should bear the brunt of the trade war's consequences.

Seeking to cusion trade blow?

On a quarterly basis, growth picked up 1.8 percent from 1.4 percent in the first quarter, beating expectations of 1.6 percent growth. Beijing's economic power and competition from China are growing.

On March 8, Trump concurred with the Secretary of Commerce's finding and imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.

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