March 19, 2019

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

03 August 2018, 08:09 | Joann Bryant

Trump plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on $200B worth of Chinese goods

President Xi rolled out the red carpet for President Trump during his visit to Beijing in November but a trade dispute has soured relations

The US imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $US34 billion of Chinese products in early July, and the review period on another $US16 billion of imports ends on Wednesday.

The ministry said timing of the implementation of the new tariffs on USA goods would depend on the actions of the US. The U.S. trade representative said Thursday they planned to up that 25 percent.

China on Friday said it was prepared to place additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, ranging from liquefied natural gas to some aircraft.

Days later, Washington unveiled a list of another $200 billion in Chinese goods, from areas as varied as electrical machinery, leather goods and seafood, that would be hit with 10 percent import duties.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: "The Chinese side calls on the United States to return to rationality, and eradicate its mistakes to create the right conditions for resolving the problem".

China's commerce ministry affirmed that the decision came in response to the US move this week to increase proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from a 10 percent rate to 25 percent, the Financial Times reported. The step is reportedly being considered by the White House in order to narrow the trade deficit between the U.S. and China.

"The US side has repeatedly escalated the situation against the interests of both enterprises and consumers", the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in its statement.

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

"China has to take necessary countermeasures to defend its dignity and the interests of its people."

He has previously warned he is prepared to "go to 500", a reference to the £384bn ($500bn) worth of goods Chinese firms sold to the USA a year ago.

Among US products targeted were a wide range of agricultural and energy products such as beef and LNG.

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