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Home / World / Death by Paperwork: Customs are not China's only trade weapon

Death by Paperwork: Customs are not China's only trade weapon







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                  Chinese President Xi Jinping could consider options for challenging a US decision to increase existing tariffs and impose new penalties on all remaining Chinese imports. Jason Lee / AFP / Getty Images </p>
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Trade

For example, China could cause pain for US companies without resorting to tariffs.

Beijing could end up dead by a regulative approach Almost impossible US companies are set to operate in one of the most valuable consumer markets in the world, with stricter tariff measures procedures, new paperwork requirements and additional business license reviews. The government could also revise visas, which makes it more difficult for US buses Another way that Beijing might hurt the US is to appeal to Chinese patriotism by pushing the population to US products and well-known brands like Apple to boycott.

This is not the case only speculative ideas. Both in the state-run Chinese media and in the social media, a populace is ready to fight with its leaders in the economic war against President Donald Trump and the United States.

"Any cursory reading of social media and public commentary in China shows this at the moment. The nationalist pressure of civil society in China is growing rapidly," said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council.

Allen, whose group represents major US companies doing business in China, said the Chinese government has been trying to reassure American investors that their interests should be protected, and there were none obvious cases of retaliation.

"Let's hope it stays that way," he said. "We should all be extremely careful when it comes to fueling the anti-American sentiment in the world's second largest market."

But as the trade battle increases, China could quickly use many of these non-tariff actions to gain leverage. China has taxed much less US imports than China exports to the United States.

Chinese officials' harsh rhetoric over the past few days suggests that Beijing may weigh up its options to fight back against a decision In a speech on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that one civilization pushing for another " stupid "and" catastrophic ".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said China will "fight to the end".

"It has always been their secret weapon, the so-called nontrading barriers," said Michael Pillsbury, Trump's External Advisor on China Issues. "You can really do damage to the non-trade barriers."

The Chinese central government may have an interest in keeping non-tariff responses firmly under their control for the time being. Boycotts and similar mass movements against US companies would not only hurt Chinese business interests, but could quickly turn into social unrest targeting the government, said Deborah Elms, executive director of the Asian Trade Center in Singapore, "she said.

Instead, the Chinese government could push "qualitative" measures that can remain firmly under its control. This could include tightening customs controls, delaying regulatory approvals, invalidating patents, and other measures derived from a game book that Beijing has always used in recent years.

China could also try to disrupt the supply chains of US companies. For example, it could inspect Foxconn's production facility and find violations that warrant closure for three months.

"With the growth rate of Starbucks in China, I think the Chinese government will discover something that is not entirely true," said Elms.

Beijing may also seek to undermine the impact of US tariffs by lowering the value of its currency, although this could cause major problems it may want to avoid.

"These are not surgical instruments," said Elms. "If I want to inspect a company's papers, I can control that pretty well. When you start playing currencies, it affects the entire economy. "

For US companies, the bill has changed as many companies see China's growing middle class and 1.4 billion consumers as their main market, where they now build and sell products.

With a middle class of 300 million people and growing businesses, multinational companies like Boeing and General Motors are looking for future opportunities more closely linked to China – where demand for aircraft and automobiles is expected to surpass the US in the coming years.

It is unclear whether the pain of US companies in China will resonate with a president whose ultimate goal may be to decouple the US economy and the Chinese economy.

the world's Dennis Muilenburg, "said a senior high-ranking US official stationed in China, referring to the CEO of Boeing. "Calling enough of them could grab his attention."


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