Beijing has announced plans to slap import taxes targeting 5,207 American products worth $60 billion in retaliation to trade tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by the US. The tariffs would range from 5 percent to 25 percent.
“The implementation date of the taxation measures will be subject to the actions of the US, and China reserves the right to continue to introduce other countermeasures,” the Chinese government press release stated. “Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties.”
According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, the measure will come into force immediately if Washington starts to impose taxes on Chinese imports.
The announcement comes after US President Donald Trump threatened to raise the proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese exports from 10 percent to 25 percent. The step is reportedly being considered by the White House in order to narrow the trade deficit between the US and China.
In July, Washington fired the first salvo in the escalating trade war with Beijing by introducing 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports worth $34 billion. China immediately retaliated by imposing levies on the same amount of US goods. The next round of tariffs on mutual imports worth $16 billion could come into force on Friday.
The trade dispute between Beijing and Washington comes amid the growing discontent frequently expressed by President Trump over the US trade deficit with China, which reached $320 billion last year. Trump also accused China of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation and providing state aid to Chinese firms.
Commenting on US threats, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told journalists on Friday that “the Chinese side calls on the US to return to rationality, and eradicate its mistakes to create the right conditions for resolving the problem.”