BEIJING: China said yesterday it strongly opposes Washington’s decision to levy additional tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods and warned the US of consequences if it does not end its “wrong actions”.
The comments made by China’s Commerce Ministry came after the US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Washington will impose an additional five per cent duty the Chinese goods, hours after Beijing announced its latest retaliatory tariffs on about $75bn worth of US goods, in the latest tit-for-tat moves in their bilateral trade dispute.
“Such unilateral and bullying trade protectionism and maximum pressure violates the consensus reached by head of China and US, violates the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit, and seriously damages the multilateral trade system and the normal international trade order,” China’s commerce ministry said.
“China strongly urges the United States not to misjudge
the situation or underestimate determination of the Chinese people,” it added.
Trump’s latest tariff move, announced on Twitter, said the US would raise its existing tariffs on $250bn worth of Chinese imports to 30pc from the current 25pc beginning on October 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the communist People’s Republic of China.
At the same time, Trump announced an increase in planned tariffs on the remaining $300bn worth of Chinese goods to 15pc from 10pc. The US will begin imposing those tariffs on some products starting September 1, but tariffs on about half of those goods have been delayed until December 15.
Trump was responding to Beijing’s decision on Friday night that it was planning to impose retaliatory tariff on $75bn worth of US imports ranging from soya bean to ethanol. China will also reinstitute tariffs of 25pc on cars and 5pc on car parts suspended last December.
The White House economic adviser said earlier in the week the Trump administration was planning in-person talks between US and Chinese officials in September. It is unclear if the bilateral meeting would still take place.
The year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies has roiled financial markets and shaken the global economy.
Since taking office in 2017, Trump has demanded that China make sweeping changes to its economic policies to end theft and forced transfers of American intellectual property, curb industrial subsidies, open its markets to American companies and increase purchases of US goods.
China denies Trump’s accusations of unfair trade practices and has resisted concessions to Washington.
“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP,” Trump tweeted on Friday.
“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies home and making your products in the US.”