Time difference gives China head start on tariff war with U.S.

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  July 3, 2018 at 11:45 AM
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July 3 (UPI) -- China and the United States are expected to launch a potentially damaging trade war, but Beijing could hit its rival with tariffs first.

The Chinese government could enjoy early mover advantage this Friday, because of the time difference between Washington and Beijing, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported Tuesday.

According to the report, the Chinese authorities will allow its tariffs against U.S. products to go into effect starting at 12 a.m. Friday.

When Beijing levies those extra charges against products like U.S. soybeans, whiskey, and automobiles, it will be 12 p.m. Thursday in Washington.

China will impose the taxes on a total of $34 billion worth of U.S. goods.

The trade war could hurt multinational carmakers that sell imported U.S. vehicles in China.

The companies had been enjoying a 15 percent tariff on imports but an additional 25 percent levy means they will now pay a tariff of 40 percent.

China is retaliating against the United States after the Trump administration decided to impose a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese products, starting Friday.

Those goods are only a portion of the 1,333 Chinese products on the administration's list that includes electronics, iron and steel plates, engines and industrial robots.

Following President Donald Trump's warnings against Chinese technological advancements, Chinese President Xi Jinping has issued instructions to local media to not "excessively exaggerate" Chinese progress in science and technology, according to the Communist Party's People's Daily on Monday.

"An arrogant style of writing lowers trust in the media and pollutes public opinion," the newspaper stated. "It does not help to bind the masses together or create a clean network space."

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