FILE - In this July 20, 2018 photo, people walk past a mural displaying world currency symbols on the outside of a bank in Beijing. Amid a worsening tariff battle, China is putting off accepting license applications from American companies in financial services and other industries until Washington makes progress toward a settlement, an official of a business group said Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

Survey: US companies in China hurt by tariff war

September 12, 2018 - 8:47 pm

BEIJING (AP) — Two-thirds of American companies in China say they have been hurt by the spiraling tariff war between Beijing and Washington, two business groups reported Thursday, and they appealed for a resumption of negotiations aimed at a settlement.

Additional U.S. companies say they will suffer if the Trump administration goes ahead with a planned tariff hike on $200 billion of Chinese imports in their fight over Beijing's technology policy, according to the American Chambers of Commerce in China and in Shanghai.

"American companies are suffering both from China's retaliatory tariffs, and — ironically — from U.S. tariffs designed to harm the Chinese economy," said the two groups in a statement. "AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai urge both governments to return to the negotiating table."

The two sides have imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of each other's goods. Beijing has issued a list of $60 billion of American imports for retaliation if President Donald Trump's next tariff hike goes ahead.

Beijing has rejected U.S. demands to roll back plans for state-led creation of Chinese global champions in robotics, artificial intelligence and other technology industries. Washington, Europe and other trading partners say those violate China's market-opening commitments.

The chairman of the American chamber, William Zarit, warned the Trump administration might be underestimating China's willingness to fight back instead of giving in.

"The U.S. Administration runs the risk of a downward spiral of attack and counterattack, benefiting no one," said Zarit in the statement.

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

Some 74.3 percent said they would be affected if Washington's tariff increase of $200 billion of Chinese goods goes ahead. Some 67.6 percent said the same of China's planned retaliatory tariffs on $60 of American goods.

The survey was conducted between Aug. 29 and Sept. 5.

Half of companies said Chinese authorities also are retaliating by subjecting them to including slower customs clearance and increased inspections and bureaucratic processes.

China threatened unspecified "comprehensive measures" in June as it began to run out of American goods for retaliation due to their lopsided trade balance.

The United States bought $3 of Chinese goods last year for every $1 it sold to China.

Another business group, the U.S.-China Business Council, said this week Chinese officials told it they were postponing accepting license applications from American companies in financial services and other fields until relations improve.

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