Thu, Dec 8, 2016 | updated 01:46 AM IST

China for "tit-for-tat" if Trump wages trade war

Updated: Nov 14, 2016 13:54 IST

Beijing [China], Nov. 14 (ANI): If US President-elect Donald Trump will pursue a trade war with Beijing as he mentioned several times in his campaign rhetoric, China will take a tit-for-tat approach, said an editorial in the Chinese media.

"China will take a tit-for-tat approach then. A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US," said the editorial in the state controlled Global Times if Trump imposes a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports.

Throwing light on the incidents in the Barack Obama administration, the editorial read: "Not long after Barack Obama took office, US trade and commerce authorities announced a 35 percent import tariff on Chinese tires. In response, China took retaliatory steps of imposing tariffs on US chicken and automotive products. Both China and the US suffered losses as a result. From then on, the Obama administration waged no trade war against China."

The editorial said that Trump as a shrewd businessman will not be so naive.

"None of the previous presidents were bold enough to launch an all-out trade war against China. They all opted for a cautious line since it's most consistent with the overall interests of the US, and it's most acceptable to US society."

Trump cannot change the pattern of interests between China and the US. "The gigantic China-US trade is based on mutual benefits and a win-win situation. Even as president, Trump can exert limited influence on it," it said.

The article warned that if Trump wrecks Sino-US trade, a number of US industries will be impaired which will lead to condemnation for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence and bear all the consequences.

To impose a 45 percent tariff on imports from China is merely campaign rhetoric. The greatest authority a US president has is to impose tariffs of up to 15 percent for 150 days on all imported goods and the limit can only be broken on the condition that the country is declared to be in a state of emergency. Other than that, a US president can only demand a tariff increase on individual commodities, it said.

During the bitter race for the White House Trump repeatedly lashed out at China, vowing to punish Beijing with 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports and to officially declare it a currency manipulator.

"When they see that they will stop the cheating," the billionaire Republican, who has accused Beijing of "the greatest theft in the history of the world", told a rally in August.

Meanwhile, in an interview on Friday, when questioned as to whether Trump will formally declare China a currency manipulator, Judy Shelton, one of Trump's economic advisers, said "he is someone going to carry through on what he says." (ANI)