U.S. businesses to lobby against Trump's tariffs

The hope is that Thailand can reap the windfall from relocation of China-based multinationals- but all Asean economies hope for the same gains

The hope is that Thailand can reap the windfall from relocation of China-based multinationals- but all Asean economies hope for the same gains

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the United States was under no pressure to make a trade deal with China, even as Chinese officials welcomed an invitation from Washington for a new round of talks with more U.S. tariffs looming.

"The Wall Street Journal has it wrong, we are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us".

"With the $200 billion round of tariffs looming, this is probably the best time for the United States to go back to the table with a "take it or leave it" type of trade demand", Robert Carnell, the chief Asia-Pacific economist at investment bank ING, said in a note. "I can't go beyond that", Kudlow told reporters outside the White House.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China polled more than 430 United States companies operating in the country, providing the first detailed look at how Donald Trump's trade fight has harmed business.

China welcomed on Thursday a USA offer to hold fresh trade talks, adding that the two are discussing the details and providing some hope the world's top economies could step back from the brink of an all-out trade war.

Mr Kudlow told Fox Business News on Wednesday that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "has apparently issued an invitation".

So far, the two economic superpowers have imposed tariffs of 25% on more than $50 billion of each other's exports.

The U.S. has enjoyed near-record low joblessness and faster economic growth in 2018, while Beijing's economy faces growing long-term concerns, including a sharp decline in the value of its currency.

The possible resumption of negotiations sent Asian markets rallying with Hong Kong surging 2.5 per cent - having fallen for six straight days and into a bear market - and Shanghai more than one per cent higher.

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Trump said last week that he also had tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of goods ready "on short notice if I want". The multi-million dollar campaign, comprised of thousands of companies, farmers and manufacturers, is arguing the trade war will kill U.S.jobs and raise prices for American households. The business lobby urged Washington to reconsider its approach.

But he cautioned: "I guarantee nothing".

"Chinese officials said they have grown wary of the Trump administration's unpredictable decision-making process and may be hesitant to accept without a clear sign USA negotiators have authority to speak for the president", the original report said.

China has also warned it could unleash "qualitative" measures, which USA business groups have interpreted as more burdensome regulations, stalled visas and other red-tape headaches.

That shows "neither side is 'winning, '" because "both are equally prone to losing companies", the chamber said.

On Wednesday, more than 60 US industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public.

Some 63.6 percent of more than 430 companies that responded to the American chambers' survey said profits and customer demand have fallen due to the USA tariffs and 62.5 percent said the same about retaliatory Chinese tariffs.

The Journal reported that the USA reached out because of political pressure on Trump to ease up on trade fights ahead of November's midterm elections.

On Thursday, the US business lobbies AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai published a joint survey showing that the negative impact on USA companies in China of tit-for-tat tariffs Washington and Beijing have imposed on one another was "clear and far reaching". "By doing so, they can both ease the anxiety of American society and gradually collapse the will of the Chinese side", the newspaper said in an editorial on Thursday.

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