China hits back with tariffs on $91 billion of United States goods

China hits back with tariffs on $91 billion of United States goods

China said it will impose higher tariffs on $60 billion worth of American-made products on June 1 as payback for President Trump's decision last week to jack up US tariffs on Chinese goods to punish Beijing after trade talks fell apart heading into the weekend.

Tariffs will be imposed on 5,140 United States products with an annual value of about $60bn (£46bn) from 1 June, the Chinese finance ministry said on Monday.

While the current set of tariffs do not affect Apple products like iPads or iPhones, US President Trump has also threatened a further 25pc tariff on "additional goods sent to us by China".

"We are determined and capable of safeguarding our legitimate rights and interests", Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.

US tariffs a year ago triggered retaliation by China, which imposed 25 percent levies on $50 billion worth of USA products including soybeans, beef and pork and lower tariffs on a list of $60 billion in goods.

China has said it will impose tariffs on $60bn (£46bn) of USA goods from 1 June, extending a bilateral trade war.

India, the world's biggest buyer of United States almonds, on June 21, 2018 raised import duties on the nuts by 20% and increased tariffs on a range of other farm products and U.S. iron and steel, in retaliation for USA tariffs on Indian steel.

People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of China's Communist Party, said in a front-page commentary that the USA should take full responsibility for the setbacks because it went back on its word and imposed more levies on Chinese products.

"China should not retaliate-will only get worse", he said on Twitter.

China has strategically used tariffs to hurt Trump's base in the Midwest through tactics like limiting soybean purchases. It also would turn the president's trade wars into a tangible reality for many Americans and their pocketbooks as he seeks re-election.

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In the short term, the US insistence on a protectionist mentality will highlight the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to Asian, Latin American and African countries. "China thinks long-term", said Max Baucus, a former senator from Montana and U.S. ambassador to China under President Barack Obama. Not only has the US not provoked China over trade, but Washington is also decades late in trying to level the trade playing field.

That list was issued in response to Trump's threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.

The political gains from a trade war may evaporate if US consumers feel the pinch from higher prices on Chinese imports, or if USA farmers complain about lost sales as a result of the Chinese tariffs.

USA officials said the Chinese negotiators have been reversing themselves on commitments made in earlier trade talks.

The announcement came less than two hours after Trump warned Beijing not to retaliate after China said it "will never surrender to external pressure".

And the trade dispute has hit USA soybean exports hard.

In a separate post, he also reiterated the Trump administration's claim, denied by Beijing, that the two sides were close to a deal but that China backed away from key, already agreed to concessions.

Economists have warned that the existing tariffs would hurt USA growth.

The move was announced in a statement by the Tariff Policy Commission of China's cabinet, the State Council.

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