China retaliates with tariffs on American items worth US$60b

Xinhua
China announced it will impose additional tariffs on American products worth US$60 billion from next Monday in response to the newly announced US tariffs on Chinese goods.
Xinhua

China announced yesterday that it will impose additional tariffs on American products worth US$60 billion from next Monday in response to the newly announced US tariffs on Chinese goods.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council unveiled lists of 3,571 items of US products to be subject to additional tariffs of 10 percent, and lists of another 1,636 items to be subject to additional tariffs of 5 percent.

The willful decision of the United States government has led to the escalation of trade friction between the two countries. China was forced to take countermeasures in defense of free trade and multilateral system, and its own legitimate rights and interests, the commission said in a statement.

If the US side continues to do so, China will respond in kind, it added.

China has no choice but to respond to the US unilateralism and trade protectionism with tariffs in order to stop the friction from escalating.

China hopes the US side will stop frictions from expanding and jointly safeguard bilateral trade ties through equal, honest and pragmatic dialogue, on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefits, the statement added.

That will also serve to defend the free trade principle and multilateral trade system, and global economic prosperity and development, it said.

The US, disregarding overwhelming international and domestic opposition, made the announcement on Monday to impose additional 10 percent tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products from next Monday and said it will take other escalating tariff measures.

Also yesterday, China filed an additional complaint with the World Trade Organization against the US decision, under the Section 301 investigation, the Ministry of Commerce announced.

The Trump administration’s move came under intense fire as US business leaders and trade experts voiced their loud opposition.

US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue, in a statement, slammed the tariffs as anti-growth. “The US economy runs on pro-growth policies, but that’s not what tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods deliver,” he said.

Donohue recalled a six-day hearing in August where more than 300 American businesses and trade organizations pleaded with US trade officials to rescind additional tariffs on Chinese goods, using statistics and props to show that the reasoning behind such measures were ill-founded.

“Today’s decision makes clear that the administration did not heed the numerous warnings from American consumers and businesses about rising costs and lost jobs on Main Street, in factories, and on farms and ranches across the country,” Donohue said.

Hun Quach, vice president of the trade group Retail Industry Leaders Association, who has appeared repeatedly before trade officials to argue against tariffs, said in a statement that her organization was “extremely discouraged by the administration’s announcement to levy tariffs on millions of products American consumers buy every day.”

“Tariffs are a tax on American families. Consumers — not China — will bear the brunt of these tariffs and American farmers and ranchers will see the harmful effects of retaliation worsen,” Quach said.

Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, called the additional tariffs “reckless.”

“President (Donald) Trump’s decision to impose an additional US$200 billion (in goods) is reckless and will create lasting harm to communities across the country,” he said in a statement. “If implemented, these tariffs will have both short and long-term effects on the US — from increased prices at the checkout counter to decreased leadership on the emerging technologies that will shape our future.”

Gary Shapiro, representing the Consumer Technology Association, said: “Today’s retaliatory tariffs are not an effective trade policy and may violate US law. Congress has not given the President or the USTR (US Trade Representative) a blank check to pursue a trade war. These new retaliatory tariffs run afoul of the carefully tailored provisions of the Trade Act of 1974, which require any action to be within the scope of the Section 301 investigation.”

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