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

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Trump appeared nonchalant about whether China met with his trade representatives to make a deal.

Washington has invited Beijing to hold new talks on their escalating tariff dispute, the Chinese foreign ministry said Thursday, ahead of a decision by President Donald Trump on whether to raise duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

On Thursday, the United States 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".

Businesses received potentially good news on Wednesday after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin proposed a fresh round of trade talks between the economic superpowers to avert a full-blown trade war.

Every year, the USA imports $500 billion worth of goods from China, while it ships only one-third of that amount to the East Asian country.

A series of companies want President Trump to know that tariffs are hurting USA industries.

"China has indeed received an invitation from the U.S. and holds a welcoming attitude to it".

Just six percent, meanwhile, said they would consider moving factories to USA soil.

Both countries are set to return to the table with the threat of new United States tariffs looming.

Trump threatened a third tranche of tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese imports last week, which would mean levying duties on almost everything China exports to the U.S. Trump said at the time those tariffs were "ready to go on short notice", but the administration hasn't yet published a list for public comment.

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More than half of firms say they are already feeling Beijing's wrath, with 27% reporting increased inspections, 19% feeling heightened regulatory scrutiny and 23% witnessing slower customs clearance.

The chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China warned the Trump administration might be underestimating China's resolve to fight back.

About 30 per cent said they were adjusting supply chains by seeking to source components and/or assembly outside the USA, and about the same number were seeking to source components and/or assembly outside China.

Meanwhile, almost a third of companies said they were considering delaying or canceling investments, underscoring the heightened uncertainty created by the trade tensions.

The survey released Thursday by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China polled almost 200 European firms doing business in China and found 17% are delaying investment or expansion plans.

They are already affecting companies, particularly the automobile industry, and hurting economies.

Farmers felt the pain when China targeted them with retaliatory tariffs, cutting off a major market for USA agriculture exports.

About 30% of firms said they were shifting parts of their supply chains away from China and the United States to buy components from other places.

"I think most of us think it's better to talk than not to talk, and I think the Chinese government is willing to talk", Kudlow said.

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