China hits back, imposes tariff hike on U.S. goods worth $60 bn
Beijing defies Trump warning “not to retaliate or it will only get worse”
China said on Monday it would raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods from June 1, in retaliation for the latest round of U.S. tariff hikes and Washington’s plans to target almost all Chinese imports.
The announcement came after the latest round of U.S.-China trade negotiations ended on Friday without a deal, and after Washington increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
U.S. President Donald Trump had also ordered the start of a process to impose new duties on another $300 billion worth of Chinese items.
Time for resolution
Despite the retaliation, Beijing appeared to give time to find a resolution by setting the June 1 date.
The new rates will target a number of American imports, with tariffs ranging from 5% to 25%, according to a statement by the Tariff Policy Commission of the State Council — China’s Cabinet.
The Chinese response was announced soon after Mr. Trump warned Beijing not to retaliate.
“China should not retaliate-will only get worse!” the U.S. President wrote in a series of tweets on trade.
But Beijing appeared to dig in. “China will never surrender to external pressure,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular briefing on Monday.
In addition to tariff hikes, China could use other measures to hit back at the U.S., as it imports fewer U.S. products — which limits its ability to match tariffs dollar-for-dollar.
“China may stop purchasing U.S. agricultural products and energy, reduce Boeing orders and restrict U.S. service trade with China,” Hu Xijin, Editor of China’s state-run Global Times, wrote on his verified Twitter account.
“Many Chinese scholars are discussing the possibility of dumping U.S. Treasuries and how to do it specifically.”
Both sides have indicated that talks will continue, with Beijing’s top trade negotiator Liu He saying on Friday that they would take place in the Chinese capital at an unspecified date. In a previous round of tit-for-tat moves, the U.S. imposed 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports in September.
Beijing announced shortly after that it was hitting over 5,000 categories of U.S. products with tariffs of 5% to 10%.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told U.S. media on Sunday that Mr. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could meet next month on the sidelines of the G20 summit to thrash out their differences on trade, although no new talks are scheduled.
“The two Presidents maintain contact through various means,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, without confirming a possible meeting between the two leaders.