China says tariff threat against US 'justified'

Here's Why Trump Is Hiking Chinese Tariffs To 25%

Here's Why Trump Is Hiking Chinese Tariffs To 25%

A container ship was docked at a port in Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong Province, on July 6.

China on Friday said it will slap additional tariffs on about United States dollars 60 billion worth of American products in retaliation to President Donald Trump's plan to raise duty on USD 200 billion Chinese imports, escalating the trade war between the top two economies of the world.

Since the trade dispute started, Washington and Beijing have imposed 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion worth of each other's imports and more punitive duties are in the pipeline.

"China is forced to take countermeasures", said a ministry statement.

Trade tensions between the US and China have been escalating for months, driven by President Trump's aggressive rhetoric and policy positions.

China has now either imposed or proposed tariffs on $110 billion in USA goods, representing the vast majority of China's annual imports of American products. The step is reportedly being considered by the White House in order to narrow the trade deficit between the U.S. and China.

Chinese leaders have offered to purchase more American goods, but rejected the USA request to change technology policies they see as a path to prosperity and global influence.

Morgan Stanley estimates that a full-blown escalation of the trade dispute could knock 0.81 percentage points off global gross domestic product.

Other US goods targeted by China in the latest list include semiconductors, some helicopters, small-to-mid-sized aircraft, iron ore, steel products, roasted coffee, sugar, foods containing chocolate, candies, and even auto windscreens. China sells goods each year to the United States worth almost four times as much as it buys.

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China's decision to threaten $60 billion of USA goods marks the first time this year that Beijing has not tried to match Washington's tariffs dollar for dollar. "Don't underestimate President Trump's determination to follow through".

The 25 percent tax targeted some 1,300 items, including steel, aluminum, machinery, electronics and aerospace products. But. the Chinese Party and the government control the media as well as a good bit of the economy. The tariffs would range from 5 percent to 25 percent.

Hours later at a rally outside Columbus, Ohio, Trump told an audience of diehard supporters that playing hardball on trade is "my thing".

"It's possible both sides will launch fresh countermeasures - not just more tariffs, but also other actions". That prompted concern among American companies that retaliation might expand to disrupting their operations in China. "China is increasingly isolated with a weak economy", he said.

China has said it will levy new tariffs on more than 5,200 U.S. products, if the White House moves forward with its latest tariff threat. China's trading partners complain those might violate its market-opening pledges by subsidizing or shielding Chinese companies from competition.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, remained staunch on Washington's push for fairer trading conditions with China.

The foreign ministry spokesman appealed to Washington to negotiate but could not confirm reports the two sides were setting up talks.

United States agricultural producers in particular are feeling the sting of the trade war. China instead is threatening roughly two-fifths of its US purchases after Trump threatened two-fifths of China's much larger exports to the USA, said Tu Xinquan, executive dean of the China Institute for World Trade Organization Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. So this unifies NAFTA and U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan.

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