China announces new US tariffs, Latest World News - The New Paper

China announces new US tariffs

This article is more than 12 months old

It will impose tariffs on $82 billion of US goods from June 1

WASHINGTON/BEIJING China said yesterday it would impose higher tariffs on a range of US goods, striking back in its trade war with Washington shortly after US President Donald Trump warned it not to retaliate.

China's Finance Ministry said it plans to set import tariffs ranging from 5 per cent to 25 per cent on 5,140 US products on a target list worth US$60 billion (S$82 billion). It said the tariffs will take effect on June 1.

The announcement came less than two hours after Mr Trump warned Beijing not to retaliate after China said it "will never surrender to external pressure".

Global equities fell sharply yesterday as hopes of an imminent trade deal between the world's two largest economies were crushed. Major US stock index futures were down about 2 per cent.

The trade war escalated on Friday after Mr Trump hiked tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods, saying China had reneged on earlier commitments made during months of trade negotiations.

Beijing had vowed to respond to the latest US tariffs.

"As for the details, please continue to pay attention. Copying a US expression - wait and see," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing yesterday.

Mr Trump warned China not to intensify the trade dispute and urged its leaders, including President Xi Jinping, to continue to work to reach a deal.

"China should not retaliate - will only get worse," he said on Twitter.

"I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don't make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries," Mr Trump wrote.


Last week, he also ordered US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China, a move that would affect an additional US$300 billion worth of goods.

Asked about the threat, Mr Geng said: "We have said many times that adding tariffs won't resolve any problem ... We have the confidence and the ability to protect our lawful and legitimate rights."

Chinese state media kept up a steady drum beat of strongly worded commentary yesterday, reiterating that China's door to talks was always open but vowing to defend the country's interests and dignity.

In a commentary, state television said the effect on the Chinese economy from the US tariffs was "totally controllable".

"It is no big deal. China is bound to turn crisis into opportunity and use this to test its abilities, to make the country even stronger."

Before high-level talks last week in Washington, China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that Chinese laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

That dealt a major setback to negotiations.

Mr Trump has since defended the US tariff hike and said he was in "absolutely no rush" to finalise a deal.

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Sunday that there was a "strong possibility" Mr Trump will meet Mr Xi at a G-20 summit in Japan in late June. - REUTERS