BEIJING:Beijing will immediately launch retaliatory tariffs when President Trump’s new duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports take effect next week, a move the government said Tuesday it “deeply” regrets.
China has previously warned it will strike back with levies on an additional $60 billion in American goods following Trump’s escalation of the trade war, effectively slapping tariffs on almost everything the United States sells to the nation.
“In order to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order, China will have to take countermeasures,” the country’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. “We deeply regret this.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang added that China had not yet decided on what countermeasures to deploy. “We will release them in time,” he said.
Beijing said it hopes Trump will “correct” his actions before the Sep. 24 deadline, urging the White House to consider the far-reaching economic consequences. But Trump has pledged to punch back if Beijing imposes new tariffs, this time on $267 billion in Chinese products — placing higher border taxes on practically all the country’s exports to the United States.
China purchased roughly $130 billion in American goods last year — less than a third of what the United States ordered from Chinese enterprises. Now Beijing is poised to impose higher border taxes on a total of $110 billion in U.S. products.
In an August statement, China’s Commerce Ministry said it would respond to Trump’s latest round of tariffs with duties on more than 5,200 types of American imports, including industrial parts, chemicals and medical instruments.
Ni Feng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said he expects a swift response from the Chinese government.
“After his list is out, then China’s countermeasures will follow,” Ni said.
Cheng Dingding, founder of the think tank Intellisia at Jinan University in Guangzhou, said China will continue to welcome negotiations.
“We will fight and talk at the same time,” he said.
China’s vice premier, Liu He, was expected to visit Washington next week to restart negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but analysts say the $200 billion development likely knocked that meeting off the table.