Vietnam Time

4/2/2018 9:04:09 AM

China slaps retaliatory tariffs on 128 US imports

China on Monday (April 2nd) imposed new tariffs on 128 U.S. imports worth USD 3 billion, including fruit and pork, in retaliation to U.S. duties on steel and aluminium, fuelling fears of a trade war.

China on Monday imposed new tariffs on 128 U.S. imports worth USD 3 billion in retaliation to U.S. duties on steel and aluminium. (AFP/STR)

Beijing's move, which the Xinhua news agency said was decided by the custom tariffs commission of the State Council, follows weeks of heated rhetoric and threats between the world's two biggest economies.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly railed against China's massive trade surplus over the United States, promising during the U.S. election campaign to slash the U.S. deficit.

Beijing had warned last month that it was considering the tariffs of 15 per cent and 25 per cent on a range of products that also include wine, nuts and aluminium scrap. The tariffs came into force on Monday, Xinhua said, citing a finance ministry statement.

The levies are in response to tariffs of 10 per cent on aluminium and 25 per cent on steel that have also angered U.S. allies.

Trump, however, has temporarily suspended the tariffs for the European Union as well as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea.

The U.S. leader has also unveiled plans to impose new tariffs on some USD 60 billion of Chinese imports over the "theft" of intellectual property.

China has called on the United States to stop its "economic intimidation" and warned it was ready to hit back.

BEIJING "HELD ITS GROUND"

But Beijing has so far held fire against major agricultural products such as soybeans or major industries such as aerospace giant Boeing - items that state-run daily the Global Times suggests should be targeted.

The nationalistic newspaper said in an editorial last week that China has "nearly completed its list of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products and will release it soon."

"The list will involve major Chinese imports from the U.S.," the newspaper wrote, without saying which items were on the document.

"This will deal a heavy blow to Washington that aggressively wields the stick of trade war and will make the U.S. pay a price for its radical trade policy toward China," the Global Times wrote.

Despite the rhetoric, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday suggested the new measures on intellectual property were a "prelude to a set of negotiations".

The United States ran a USD 375.2 billion deficit with China last year.

But the Global Times, without revealing sources, said the United States had made "some unreasonable demands in an attempt to coerce China into a compromise.

"This was naive. With strong trading power, China held its ground."

VNF/AFP  
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