Wednesday 15th Aug, 2018

China fires back with 128 tariffs on US products

Photo: Shutterstock

China’s ambassador to Washington has said the country will not hesitate to react to further tariffs placed on Chinese goods by the United States Government, after the Asian giant on Monday announced tariffs on 128 US imports.

Beijing this week announced tariffs of up to 25% on a range of goods, including fruit and meat, worth US$3 billion in annual trade.

The move was made in response to US president Donald Trump’s move for a 25% tariff on imported steel, and a 10% tariff on imported aluminium.

Trump was not shy in targeting China with the trade mechanisms, repeatedly lambasting previous governments for allowing China to develop a significant trade surplus over the United States.

The tariffs have been suspended by Trump for several key exporters, including the European Union, Australia, Canada and Mexico, further annoying the Chinese.

A statement this week from China’s finance ministry announced the list of retaliatory tariffs, which range from 15% to 25%, and cover products like wine, aluminium scrap, nuts and pork.

While China’s tariffs are extensive, they are yet to touch several key industries, including major US agriculture and industrial exports. But Chinese state-owned newspaper the Global Times has indicated more tariffs could be headed Trump’s way.

According to AAP, editorial last week in the Global Times suggested the final list of tariffs could include “major Chinese imports from the US”.

“This will deal a heavy blow to Washington that aggressively wields the stick of trade war and will make the US pay a price for its radical trade policy toward China,” the editorial said.

Chinese ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai, quoted by Associated Press on Chinese television on Tuesday, said further tariffs from the United States would be met with larger counter-measures from the Chinese Government.

The US is expected to announce US$50 billion to US$60 billion in further tariffs on Chinese products.

“If they do, we will certainly take countermeasures of the same proportion, and the same scale, same intensity,” Cui was quoted as saying.