July 16, 2018—Late last week, China attempted to step up pressure on Washington in their growing tariff battle with the U.S. Chinese officials suggested that U.S. companies should lobby American leaders, while a Korean union warned President Donald Trump’s threat of high auto import duties could lead to job losses in Alabama.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Commerce Ministry said talks have yet to resume between Beijing and Washington over the dispute that led to tariff hikes on each other’s goods, as noted in an Associated Press report.
“We hope American companies do more to lobby the U.S. government and work hard to safeguard their own interests,” Gao Feng at a news conference.
Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods recently, in response to complaints that China pressures companies to hand over technology. China responded by imposing similar duties on the same amount of imports from the U.S. Washington also recently announced a second possible round of tariff hikes, targeting a wider range of $200 billion of goods.
Meanwhile, the labor union for Hyundai Motor Co. warned that a downturn in U.S. auto imports due to Trump’s threatened tariffs could force the company to curtail work at its Alabama factory. The union said in the event of a downturn, its contract requires Hyundai to idle factories abroad before those in South Korea.
The union said in a statement that the Alabama plant could eventually shut down; the facility employs 3,500 people.