China hits back at US with new tariffs

China hits back at US with new tariffs


Priyanka Mogul, Communications Officer

China will impose additional tariffs on US$60 billion worth of US goods on 1 June, Reuters reports, in response to Washington’s announcement of increased duties on Chinese goods last week. 

A statement from China’s Finance Ministry confirmed that a total of 5,140 US products will be subject to additional tariffs of 5, 10, 20 and 25 per cent, according to the South China Morning Post.

The retaliation comes days after the US increased duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, prompting Chinese officials to promise countermeasures.

Chinese state media outlet Xinhua cites a statement from the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council which said the move was in response to the US act of unilateralism and trade protectionism. It accused the US of escalating trade frictions via last week’s decision, which violated the consensuses reached by both sides to tackle trade disputes through consultations.

The statement also repeated messaging from last week which sought to present the US as striking an unreasonable stance in negotiations.

China hopes that the United States would return to the right track of bilateral economic and trade consultations, make joint efforts with China to meet each other halfway and strive to reach a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement on the basis of mutual respect, it said.

US markets reacted badly to the announcement with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by almost 2 per cent. According to The Guardian, European stock markets were also affected, sinking to their lowest in seven weeks amid fears of further escalations to come. China’s tariff announcement came hours after US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to warn Beijing not to retaliate to last week’s measures, and that “it will get worse” if they do.

The President has previously mooted blanket tariffs on all Chinese imports should trade negotiations fail.