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Brazilian Agribusiness Assesses Gains from Trade War between U.S. and China

10 April 2018

Vowing to shield United States farmers from Chinese retaliation, Mr Trump said on Monday: "If, during the course of a negotiation, they want to hit the farmers because they think that hits me, I wouldn't say that's nice". "And we'll make it up to them".

In apparent, if unacknowledged, answer to some of the U.S.'s criticisms, President Xi said China would increase imports, improve the protection of intellectual property and provide a more transparent, rule-based environment for foreign investment.

"We are planning to actively promote the growth of imports".

The United States is not expected to apply its tariffs at least until June, according US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and other senior officials.

"President Xi spoke in terms of China's own need and commitment for market reform and liberalization, but no doubt he was also sending a signal to the US government that he wants there to be cooperation and dialogue, not conflict and a trade war".

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"It is really not so much about trade as about China's rise as a technology power and USA efforts to contain this rise and prevent China from dominating key sectors going forward", Paul Triolo, practice head for geotechnology at consulting firm Eurasia Group, said in an email. "When a auto is sent to China from the United States, there is a Tariff to be paid of 25%". Since December 2016, Beijing also has charged an additional 10 percent on "super-luxury" vehicles priced above 1.3 million yuan ($200,000).

Washington claims China has failed to fulfil earlier promises to open up the economy - including putting up barriers to global companies accessing markets and forcing investors to form joint ventures and hand over intellectual property. The free-market laws of the United States have exacerbated this phenomenon, eventually meaning that areas in which the U.S. once enjoyed a clear advantage, including electrical appliances, electronics, clothes, toys and even heavy industries such as vehicles, have all seen declines. The U.S. move last week to threaten China with tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods was aimed at forcing Beijing to address what Washington says is deeply entrenched theft of U.S. intellectual property and forced technology transfer from U.S. companies. In announcing 25 percent tariffs on, among other things, soybeans and automobiles, Chinese leaders were hitting the president where they knew it would hurt, as the biggest soybean producers include Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, and Indiana.

Following the USA administration's imposition of tariffs on aluminium and steel last month, the president ramped up the pressure by adding 25 percent tariffs to a list of 1'333 Chinese imports earlier this week.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 45 cents to $63.87 a barrel.

The rouble tumbled 4.2 percent, bringing its losses against the dollar since last Friday to around 10 percent. "When you are shut out of dollar funding markets, a lot of your business will just stop working", Saxo Bank's Garnry said, while cautioning Russia's smaller role in global financial markets would limit the wider fallout.

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"The upside could be big because business as usual wasn't getting the job done in opening up the market in China", said Daniel Rosen, founder and China director of research and consulting firm Rhodium Group.

The Edge Financial Daily has spoken to market experts to get their views on sectors that are likely to be spared from the escalation of the trade fights between the USA and China as well as those that might benefit. More than half of all soybeans grown in Missouri are exported.

On Wednesday, China unveiled a list of 106 USA goods including soybeans, whiskey, frozen beef and aircraft targeted for tariffs, just hours after the Trump administration proposed duties on some 1,300 Chinese industrial, technology, transport and medical products.

Tuesday's USA list of planned targets for tariffs was 43 pages long, running the gamut from medical supplies and television sets to cars and chemicals.

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Brazilian Agribusiness Assesses Gains from Trade War between U.S. and China