White House says Trump's resolve is firm on China trade

Andrew Cummings
August 3, 2018

China hit back at US President Donald Trump on Friday, saying it would impose tariffs ranging from 5 to 25 per cent on US$60 million worth of American products.

The Finance Ministry on Friday accused the Trump administration of damaging the global economy after it proposed imposing 25 per cent duties on $200 billion of Chinese products in a dispute over Beijing's technology policy.

"China to take necessary countermeasures to defend the country's dignity and the interests of the people, defend free trade and the multilateral system, and defend the common interests of all countries in the world", the statement said.

The Chinese government has said that it will make a final decision on if, when, and how these tariffs will be implemented next month.

"I might think the $60 billion is a weak response to our $200 (billion)", he said, while admitting that "there is a lot they can do to damage our companies in China".

President Trump has threatened to up the ante further by slapping £150bn ($200bn) worth of Chinese goods with levies of up to 25 percent.

The Trump administration last month enacted a 25% tariff on roughly $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate in kind, and then threatened to slap additional duties on almost all Chinese goods sent to the US.

China immediately vowed to retaliate, though at the same time urged the U.S. to act rationally and return to talks to resolve the dispute.

Representatives for the White House and the US Commerce Department did not immediately reply to a request for comment on China's retaliatory move.

The Chinese commerce ministry blamed the United States for escalating the situation. USA tariffs on another $16 billion worth of Chinese imports are set to be enacted at a later date.

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