China on Friday announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. 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.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said it was "forced to do act" after Trump's threat earlier last week to raise a proposed tariff rate on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.
In July, Washington fired the first salvo in the escalating trade war with Beijing by introducing 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports worth $34 billion. The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over USA demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit, but China's response suggests that tactic hasn't worked.
China proposed retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft on Friday, as a senior Chinese diplomat cast doubt on prospects of talks with Washington to solve their bitter trade conflict.
Noticeably absent from the latest list is polysilicon, the main ingredient in solar cells, which the United States does export to China.
Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a meeting during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing, China April 27, 2018.
A spokesperson from the Ministry of Commerce said the date of implementation of the tariff measures will depend on the actions of the USA, and China reserves the right to introduce other countermeasures.
There is no evidence that the Chinese government is financing an advertising campaign in the United States to convince USA politicians that Trump's approach is wrong.
Tariffs on another $16bn worth of products are pending, the second part of tariffs on $50bn worth of imports that the USA announced in March.
The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap surged 7.3 per cent to $46.3 billion.
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China's Commerce Ministry said in a seperate statement Beijing's new set of proposed import tariffs on United States goods were rational and restrained.
As US President Donald Trump has been provoking trade disputes with several countries, Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, said it is impossible for the White House to ensure the "accuracy" of its tariff lists.
The U.S. has imposed tariffs targeting aerospace, robotics and other forms of technology, while China retaliated with tariffs on agricultural products, seafood and cars, among other things.
The U.S. hit back with tariffs on 1,300 Chinese goods worth $50 billion.
"We do have significant exports to China, especially in mechanical machinery and electrical machinery", said Mousa Kassis, director of the Export Assistance Network at Youngstown State University.
Trump portrays the tariffs as a tax on foreigners, but the reality is that tariffs are taxes on USA companies and consumers.
"Tariffs will make our country much richer than it is today". "The US carrot and stick tactics will have no effect on China but could bring disappointment to the countries and regions that oppose trade wars", the spokesperson said.
It's the first time the fuel has been ensnared by the expanding trade war and billions of U.S. dollars may hang in the balance.
Wang said that "accuracy" meant using tariffs to maximize the pain for targeted countries while protecting United States consumers and companies.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump praised his tariff plan and insisted, "steelworkers are working again, and big dollars are flowing into our Treasury".