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US Increased Tariffs on Chinese Imports go Into Effect, China to Take “Necessary Countermeasures”

Trump says despite being poised to impose the additional tariffs, he is not looking for a trade war with Beijing

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Donald Trump, Trolled, Twitter
Trump's remarks came a day after NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told USA Today that US astronauts would not be able to make a lunar landing . VOA

The United States has increased tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China on Friday said it “deeply regrets” the increased tariffs and will take the “necessary countermeasures” without giving any details.

The increases are going into effect amid talks between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

On Thursday the U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators ended the first of two days of talks aimed at saving a trade deal even as President Donald Trump said the new “very heavy tariffs” on Chinese products would go ahead.

The White House said Thursday evening that “Ambassador Lightizer and Secretary Mnuchin met with President Trump to discuss the ongoing trade negotiations with China. The ambassador and secretary then had a working dinner with Vice Premier Liu He and agreed to continue discussions tomorrow morning at USTR.”

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FILE – Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, right, gestures as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, center, chats with his Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer before their meeting in Beijing, May 1, 2019. VOA

Talks on Friday

Liu He is leading the Chinese negotiating team for the talks, which threatened to collapse after the Trump administration accused Beijing of backtracking.

“We were getting very close to a deal, then they started to renegotiate the deal,” said Trump Thursday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

“It was their idea to come back” and resume discussion ahead of the Friday deadline for additional tariffs, the president said. Trump said he had also received “a beautiful letter” from Xi that expressed a sentiment of “let’s work together.”

Trump told reporters that he happens “to think tariffs for our country are very powerful,” in line with a view he has been expressing that such increased punitive taxes would be good for America’s economy.

chinese imports, tariffs
FILE – Shoppers sit on a bench with a decorated with U.S. flag browsing their smartphones outside a fashion boutique selling U.S. brand clothing at the capital city’s popular shopping mall in Beijing. VOA

Tariffs and economic growth

Some economists, however, predict such tariffs would cut in half the U.S. economic growth seen in the first quarter of this year.

Earlier officials in Beijing said they have “made all necessary preparations” if Trump followed through on the pledge to impose the new set of tariffs.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing Thursday that China will not bow to any pressure and warned it has the “determination and ability to defend its own interests.”

tariffs, chinese imports
Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng gestures as journalists raise hands for questions during a press conference at the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing, April 6, 2018. VOA

The ministry issued an earlier statement vowing to take any necessary countermeasures if the tax is implemented.

The Trump administration hopes the new tariffs will force changes in China’s trade, subsidy and intellectual property practices.

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The two sides have been unable to reach a deal thanks, in part, to differences over the enforcement of an agreement and a timeline for removing the tariffs.

Trump says despite being poised to impose the additional tariffs, he is not looking for a trade war with Beijing. “I want to get along with China,” he told reporters. (VOA)

Next Story

We Got Trump Elected, Shouldn’t Stop Him in 2020; Says Facebook Executive

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day

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FILE - President Donald Trump departs after speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House July 17, 2019, in Washington. VOA

Facebook Vice President Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth has claimed that it was the social networking giant that got Donald Trump elected as the US President in 2016 because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the key Facebook executive in the same vein suggested that the platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users should not use its enormous reach to block Trump’s reelection in 2020.

Was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?

“I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks. He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period”, said Bosworth who runs Facebook’s hardware group.

“Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote.

“They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes. They weren’t micro-targeting or saying different things to different people. They just used the tools we had to show the right creative to each persona.

He continued: “I find myself desperately wanting to pull any lever at my disposal to avoid the same result. So what stays my hand? I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment”.

Donald Trump
Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump. Wikimedia Commons

“Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to Galadrial (Galadriel) and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her,” he wrote.

“As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”

“To be clear, I’m no fan of Trump. I donated the max to Hillary,” he tried to clarify his stand.

Bosworth said that it is worth reminding everyone that Russian interference was real but it was mostly not done through advertising.

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“$100,000 in ads on Facebook can be a powerful tool but it can’t buy you an American election, especially when the candidates themselves are putting up several orders of magnitude more money on the same platform (not to mention other platforms),” he wrote.

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day.

“Misinformation was also real and related but not the same as Russian interference,” Bosworth mentioned, admitting that Cambridge Analytica was one of the more acute cases where the details were almost all wrong. (IANS)