Donald Trump readies $200 billion in China tariffs, citing 'unacceptable' policies

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The ministry also responded to Trump's threat that a third set of tariffs, again totaling $200 billion wroth of Chinese imports to the U.S., would move forward if China hits back at the first set.

For its part, China said it "doesn't want a trade war" but has to "fight back strongly", a Commerce Ministry statement said on Saturday.

The White House said that if China goes through with its promise to retaliate against the USA tariffs announced last week, the United States will impose tariffs on an additional Dollars 200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

"This practice of extreme pressure and blackmail deviates from the consensus reached by both parties on many occasions and is disappointing for the global community", the ministry said, adding that it would respond firmly with "comprehensive measures combining quantity and quality" if the USA ends up pursuing more tariffs.

China's commerce ministry reacted swiftly, saying: "If the United States acts irrationally and issues a list, China will have no choice but to take comprehensive measures of a corresponding number and quality and take strong, powerful countermeasures". "It is very unfortunate that instead of eliminating these unfair trading practices China said that it intends to impose unjustified tariffs targeting United States workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses".

"If China increases its tariffs yet again, we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods", Trump said in a statement.

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It follows last Friday's decision to to impose 25% tariffs on $50bn of Chinese products.

The planned new wave of tariffs would have to go through a similar process of public consultation and comment as the earlier ones before taking effect.

"In terms of tariff imposition, China will run out of ammunition faster, since it imported only $130 billion of goods from the USA in 2017", Kuijs wrote Tuesday.

The latest round of tariffs would nearly definitely put the USA into all-out trade war against China.

The Dow Jones industrial averaged dropped 410 points, or 1.6 percent after the opening bell on worries that the tit-for-tat tariff threats between the United States and China may turn into an all-out economic brawl.

"The United States has initiated a trade war and violated market regulations, and is harming the interests of not just the people of China and the USA, but of the world", the ministry added. He added that China is a "predatory economic government" that is "long overdue in being tackled", matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminum flooding the USA market.

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In March Washington and Seoul announced agreement on a renegotiated free trade accord, giving U.S. carmakers greater access to the South Korean market.

Zhu Haibin, chief China economist at JPMorgan in Hong Kong, said that rather than trying to match the U.S. on tariffs, Beijing might have to adopt a different approach.

By contrast, Palmer noted, the USA exported only about $130bn worth of products to China in 2017.

"I think that the other side may have underestimated the strong resolve of President Donald J. Trump", Navarro added.

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The U.S. imports about $505 billion a year in goods from China. The White House has said it opposes the ZTE provision, but a Trump veto of a defense bill to save Chinese jobs would be awkward.

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The Chinese response clearly angered Trump.