Trump defends his China strategy, Beijing says ‘not afraid’ of trade war

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Over 600 American companies and business associations warned President Donald Trump that a trade war with China will hurt the United States, urging him to return to the negotiating table with its largest trading partner.

The companies say "the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative, and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families, and the US economy". "Tariffs are taxes paid directly by US companies".

The United States kicked off a tariff battle with China in 2018, seeking sweeping structural changes from Beijing. Such tariffs would also affect domestic manufacturers - considering that many materials necessary for production are sourced through China and unavailable in the USA - as well as footwear jobs, with a number of member companies already making attempts to relocate their supply chains outside of China.

"We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs", the companies and groups said in the letter.

"It looks like we're moving in that direction", White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News Channel when asked if the two leaders would have a bilateral meeting. "Tariffs are taxes paid directly by USA companies ... not China".

Walmart, the largest US private-sector employer and the world's largest retailer, has said tariffs will increase prices for USA consumers.

"Trade overall has been good for Americans, good for consumers.and I realise it gets criticised at times,"Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon said last week".

But it is significant as US-China trade tensions escalate and comes before a possible meeting between Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the June 28-29 Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

AFTER raising economic uncertainty and unnerving the financial markets for close to two weeks, USA president Donald Trump announced last Friday that he was "indefinitely suspending" his May 30 threat to unilaterally raise tariffs up to 25 per cent on American imports from Mexico as part of an effort to punish it for allegedly failing to end illegal immigration across its border into the United States.

They would also add more than US$2,000 in costs for the average American family of four and reduce the value of USA gross domestic product by 1 percent, the letter warned.

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