The Chinese government said that tariffs on about $3 billion worth of US imports are going into effect Monday, hitting 128 products ranging from pork, meat and fruit to steel pipes.
It’s the latest move in escalating tensions between the world’s two largest economies, which some experts fear could turn into a trade war.
On March 22, the Trump administration announced more tariffs on Chinese imports were on the way, the result of the US Trade Representative’s Section 301 investigation of China. Trump also has more measures in the works aimed specifically at China. He has announced plans to slap tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese goods following an investigation by his administration into the theft of intellectual property from US companies.
China’s Global Times reports that “for every single move against Chinese interests, the US can expect retaliation. It is time for Washington to bid farewell to the delusional, make-believe world whereby it imagines China an unresponsive, over-tolerant nation.
China does not want a trade war, but it will not retreat should one emerge. Monday’s announcement is hardly a subtle hint. China will show its strength through action.
China’s State Council officially released on Monday morning a list of 128 American goods that will now have higher tariffs, a countermeasure to the recent unilateral Trump administration hikes slapped on Chinese steel and aluminum. Neither side has confirmed whether the latest tariff measures signal the start of a trade war.”
Analysts believe China will probably take more countermeasures soon after the US publishes a specific list of its tariffs on Chinese goods, if not earlier.
The Global Times adds that the list indicates China will never compromise and will always retaliate against unreasonable tariffs. The editorial adds “China is not expecting added damage to US relations, but China does have the confidence and courage to handle whatever comes.
Analysts claim that the US and China remain on brink of trade war, but the big guns have yet to be fired. Although US trade representative Robert Lighthizer indicated recently that “there’s hope” in the ongoing talks between Washington and Beijing, China is not expected to back down.But it was still a “relatively mild” step from Beijing, and more painful measures that target US soybeans, cars and planes, could yet follow, former Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei said last week.
Sources : Corriere Della Sera, CNN, Global Times, FT, South China Morning Post