News Analysis: Medium-term impact of U.S. tariff hike on China “limited,” experts say

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ROME, May 11 (Xinhua) — After Washington ratcheted up the tariff threat during the just-concluded round of China-U.S. trade talks, Italian experts said that the medium-term impact on China would be limited, giving a vote of confidence to the Chinese economy.

Romeo Orlandi, vice president of Osservatorio Asia, a think tank specializing in research and training in Asian countries, said that “China’s economy is incredibly robust, and it is a maturing economy, which mean it is much less vulnerable than it would have been a decade ago.”

Washington on Friday increased additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, a move Beijing said it deeply regrets and will be forced to respond to with necessary countermeasures.

“These new tariffs will hurt, but exports to the United States will not disappear,” Orlandi said. “They’ll be reduced for some period of time. This will not stop the Chinese growth.”

For the coming weeks and months, the biggest impact on China from the dispute was “uncertainty,” Filippo Fasulo, scientific coordinator for the Italy-China Foundation Center on Business Research and a fellow with the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, said.

“We don’t know how long this will last,” Fasulo said in an interview. “This creates uncertainty for Chinese companies that produce exports.”

The latest escalation of the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies is a blow, not only to the countries involved, but to all parts of the global economy because of the deep ties among the economies, Italian analysts said.

A trade dispute of this level “does not leave anyone untouched,” Agostino Giovagnoli, an Italy-China analyst and author of multiple books on history and globalization, told Xinhua.

For example, Orlandi said that it would hurt major industrial economies in Europe like Germany and Italy, which not only depend on exports but also on parts that come from the countries involved.

Likewise, Javier Noriega, chief economist with Hildebrandt and Ferrar, said that significant tariffs manipulate markets and result in less demand and lower economic growth across the board.