BEIJING/ WASHINGTON: China is gearing up to hit back at the United States after President Donald Trump, in a surprise announcement overnight, said he will impose new tariffs in a bid to pressure its trade rival. In a strongly-worded statement on Friday, a Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman said the move was a serious violation of the consensus reached between the two countries’ leaders on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in June. If the US introduces the new taxes, Beijing will have to take counter-measures to resolutely defend the core interests of the country and the fundamental interests of the people, said the statement.
It did not say what these counter-measures would be. President Trump’s overnight announcement of new 10 per cent tariffs on the remaining US$300 billion (S$413 billion) in Chinese imports sent markets into a tailspin and American businesses and retail associations complaining of impending higher prices. The renminbi also fell to its lowest this year – 6.950 to the dollar – but recovered slightly by midday on Friday.
In a string of tweets, the American president had accused Beijing of not following through on its promise to buy more American agricultural products and stop the sale of fentanyl to the US. We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one! he tweeted.
These new duties, which will kick in on Sep 1, will hit a range of consumer goods, from mobile phones to clothing. Trump’s surprise move came after US and China negotiators earlier this week finished what both sides had described as constructive talks in Shanghai, which had resumed after a three-month break. Another meeting was scheduled next month (September) in Washington.
The heightened tensions spilled over to Bangkok on Friday at an Asean meeting when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed his president’s move, blaming China for decades of bad behaviour that have undermined fair trade and competition. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi who was also attending the meeting, told reporters, imposing tariffs is definitely not the right way to resolve trade frictions.
Earlier, the US President Donald Trump said he would impose an additional 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting September 1, as talks aimed at easing tensions between the world’s two largest economies continue. Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the US will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the 250 Billion Dollars already Tariffed at 25%, Trump tweeted.