June 15, 2018 / 8:41 PM / 2 years ago

U.S., China trade fight 'will lead to serious consequences': Cargill

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The current trade conflict between the United States and China “will lead to serious consequences for economic growth and job creation,” global commodities trader Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] said on Friday.

“The impact of trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies will lead to serious consequences for economic growth and job creation and hurt those that are most vulnerable across the globe,” the company said in a statement.

On Friday, China said it will impose additional 25 percent tariffs on 659 U.S. goods worth $50 billion - including on U.S. soybean imports, the single most valuable U.S. agricultural export to its Asian rival. Beijing’s move came in response to the U.S. announcement that it will levy tariffs on Chinese imports.

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier in the day imposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports as he demanded better terms of trade from Beijing to close a $335 billion annual deficit.

In the past, rival global grain merchants Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N) and Bunge Ltd (BG.N) have said they can withstand agricultural trade disruptions arising from U.S.-China tensions and potentially profit from them.

But on Friday, ADM said it too hoped the tensions would ease soon.

“China continues to be an important export market for American food and agriculture,” ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said in a statement. “We are hopeful that both governments continue to pursue a bilateral dialogue in support of a strong U.S.-China trade relationship.”

Bunge declined to comment Friday.

Cargill warned that tit-for-tat retaliatory measures will not solve the trade concerns raised by both China and the United States.

“It is in the interest of both countries to come to the table around a negotiated solution such as a responsible trade agreement,” Cargill said. “Only through a rules-based system can everyone compete on an even playing field.”

Reporting By P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago; Editing by Tom Brown

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