The US-China tit-for-tat in trade tariffs has intensified with Beijing warning of an additional 25-per cent tariff on $60 billion of imports from America in case new levies were imposed on Chinese goods.
“In violation of the bilateral consensus reached after multiple rounds of negotiations, the United States has again unilaterally escalated trade frictions,” declared the Chinese State Council Tariff Commission.
It listed more than 5,200 American products that could face problems as part of China’s efforts to safeguard its legitimate interests. They include meat, coffee, nuts, alcoholic drinks, minerals, chemicals, leather products, wood products, machinery, furniture and auto parts.
But the US continued to be defiant, with the White House declaring that “instead of retaliating, China should address the longstanding concerns about its unfair trading practices.”
The Chinese threat comes just two days after American President Donald Trump instructed the administration to consider raising the tariffs on Chinese imports from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. This would impact $200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the US annually.
The two nations are the world’s largest economies and have goods and services trade worth more than $650 billion annually. But for the last one year, there has been tension between the two countries after Trump directed his Commerce department to probe whether imports of metals such as steel and aluminium from China threatened national security.