Trump targets Chinese products worth $200bn, escalates trade war
Washington, July 11: US President Donald Trump has escalated his trade war with China, saying he would impose additional 10 per cent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese fish, petroleum, chemicals, handbags, textiles and other products if Beijing does not change its trade practices.
China on Wednesday expressed "shock" and solemn protest against Washington's announcement of fresh tariffs, calling it "totally unacceptable".
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday released a list of thousands of additional goods that could face tariffs after a public comment period. The move comes just days after the two countries imposed tit-for-tat tariffs of $34 billion on each other's goods.
Washington said the new 10 per cent tariffs are in retaliation to Beijing's response to the first set of taxes imposed by the US administration, CNN reported.
"The US has unveiled the list of tariffs in an escalating manner. This is totally unacceptable, and we express our solemn protest against this," said China's Commerce Ministry in a statement. It warned that China would have to respond with "necessary countermeasures".
"The action from the US is hurting China, hurting the whole world and also hurting the US itself," it was cited as saying by Xinhua news agency.
"China is shocked by what the US did. To defend the core interests of the nation and the fundamental interests of the people, the Chinese government will, as always, be forced to take necessary countermeasures. "In the meantime, we appeal to the international community to jointly defend free trade rules and the multilateral trade regime and fight trade bullying," the spokesperson said. China said it will "immediately lodge an additional complaint with the World Trade Organization over the unilateral acts of the US". The US is already working on a second wave of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $16 billion. The tariffs announced on Tuesday would be the third wave. They would go into effect after August 30.
Washington's latest action will hit more than 6,000 items that include consumer products like televisions, clothing, bedsheets and air conditioners, which were spared from the first import levies. "Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against US products," Lighthizer said. "There is no justification for such action." However, the US remains willing to engage in negotiations with China, he added. (IANS)