China vows retaliation if United States sets 25 per cent import tariff
China vows retaliation if United States sets 25 per cent import tariff
Also a second round of tariffs on products worth $16billion could take effect as soon as this week
04 August, 2018, 22:56
China on Thursday (Aug 2) urged the United States to return to reason after the Trump administration sought to ratchet up pressure for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 per cent tariff on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
But the two neighbors - and other US allies and trading partners - have slapped back with tariffs of their own, often aimed at USA farmers who supported Trump in the 2016 election.
"Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against United States workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses", Mr Lighthizer said in a statement. While the conflict nominally centers around the U.S.'s $375 billion annual goods trade deficit with China, it has morphed into a chapter in the nations' broader strategic rivalry. If the United States takes further escalatory steps, China will inevitably take countermeasures and we will resolutely protect our legitimate rights. A fall in exchange rates could neutralise the USA tariffs by making Chinese goods cheaper for overseas customers to buy.
The Trump administration is proposing raising planned taxes on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent, turning up the pressure on Beijing in a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
The U.S. imported $505 billion worth of Chinese goods in 2017 while China imported $130 billion worth of American products, according to the Commerce Department.
China on Friday announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of USA goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft and warned of further measures, signalling that it won't back down in a protracted trade war with Washington.
In early July, the USA government imposed 25-percent tariffs on an initial $34 billion of Chinese imports.
The move signals displeasure among Trump's own party over his protectionist actions, but chances of it becoming law are slim as Congress would likely need to override a presidential veto by Trump.
Other US goods targeted by China also included semiconductors, some helicopters, small-to-mid-sized aircraft, condoms, beef, steel products and coffee.
Wednesday's tariff announcement is all the more significant because it follows an agreement between President Trump and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to negotiate a resolution of trade differences between the USA and EU.
US trade representatives are trying to re-engage China in trade talks to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.
Trump, who has accused China and others of exploiting the United States in global trade, has demanded that Beijing make a host of concessions to avoid the new duties, which could be imposed in the weeks after a comment period closes on September 5.
Erin Ennis, senior vice president of the U.S. China Business Council, said a 10 percent tariff on these products is already problematic, but more than doubling that to 25 percent would be much worse.
China's foreign ministry called this "blackmail" and warned that policies like this would "only produce the opposite of the desired result".
Mr. Geng said China is also open to resuming trade talks but only based on mutual respect and equality.
Increasing the rates to 25 percent could make them significantly more painful.
But China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said U.S. efforts to pressure China would be in vain, urging its trade policymakers to "calm down".
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