China says it strongly opposes Washington’s decision to levy additional tariffs on $US550 billion ($A814 billion) worth of Chinese goods and warned the United States of consequences if it does not end its “wrong actions”.
The comments on Saturday made by China’s Ministry of Commerce came after US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Washington will impose an additional 5 per cent duty the Chinese goods, hours after Beijing announced its latest retaliatory tariffs on about $US75 billion ($A111 billion) worth of US goods, in the latest tit-for-tat moves in their bilateral trade dispute.
“Such unilateral and bullying trade protectionism and maximum pressure violates the consensus reached by head of China and United States, violates the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit, and seriously damages the multilateral trade system and the normal international trade order,” China’s commerce ministry said in a statement.
“China strongly urges the United States not to misjudge the situation or underestimate determination of the Chinese people,” it added.
Trump’s latest tariff move, announced on Twitter, said the US would raise its existing tariffs on $US250 billion ($A370 billion) worth of Chinese imports to 30 per cent from the current 25 per cent beginning on October 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the communist People’s Republic of China.
At the same time, Trump announced an increase in planned tariffs on the remaining $US300 billion ($A444 billion) worth of Chinese goods to 15 per cent from 10 per cent.
The US will begin imposing those tariffs on some products starting September 1, but tariffs on about half of those goods have been delayed until December 15.
Trump was responding to Beijing’s decision on Friday night that it was planning to impose retaliatory tariff on $US75 billion ($A111 billion) worth of US imports ranging from soybean to ethanol. China will also reinstitute tariffs of 25 per cent on cars and 5 per cent on auto parts suspended last December.
The White House economic adviser said earlier in the week the Trump administration was planning in-person talks between US and Chinese officials in September. It is unclear if the bilateral meeting would still take place.
The year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies has roiled financial markets and shaken the global economy.