Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Money | By Bruce West

‘Totally unacceptable’: Beijing vows retaliation if USA taxes $200bn of Chinese goods

‘Totally unacceptable’: Beijing vows retaliation if USA taxes $200bn of Chinese goods

The office will accept public comments and hold hearings on the plan August 20-23 before reaching a decision after August 31, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

On Friday, the United States imposed 25-percent tariffs on around $34 billion in Chinese goods, sparking an immediate dollar-for-dollar retaliation from Beijing.

Beijing said it would "immediately" tack on the case to its suit against Washington's "unilateralist" behaviour at the World Trade Organization.

China on Wednesday said tit-for-tat tariffs will "destroy" trade between the world's top two economies, after Washington fired the next shot in a ballooning trade war, readying fresh levies on $ 200 billion in Chinese goods.

"Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against US products". "In order to safeguard the core interests of the country and the fundamental interests of the people, the Chinese government will, as always, have to make the necessary counter-measures".

"For over a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in announcing the proposed tariffs.

The ministry said it "solemnly protests" the latest tariff list published by Washington, calling it "totally unacceptable".

"The Chinese side is shocked by the actions of the U.S.", a statement on the ministry's website declared.

The administration said the new levies are a response to China's decision to retaliate against the first round of US tariffs.

S&P 500 and Dow futures dropped around 1 percent, pointing to a weak opening on Wall Street later on Wednesday.

The Chinese commerce ministry has slammed the United States plan to impose tariffs on additional imports worth some $200 billion as totally unacceptable, promising a mirror response to defend its national interests. Imposing taxes on another US$200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of everyday goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators. The Republican chairman of the U-S Senate Finance Committee says the move is reckless. "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a Chamber spokeswoman said.

The trade confrontation between Washington and Beijing has been escalating for months, despite Trump's repeated statements that he has a good relationship with China's President Xi Jinping.

At a forum in Beijing, a senior official accused the USA of "damaging the world economic order" and said tit-for-tat tariffs would "destroy" trade between the rival powers. The move has faced criticism from American officials and lawmakers.

In Beijing, Li Chenggang, assistant minister at China's Commerce Ministry, said that the latest USA proposals would hurt both countries and pointed to declines in Chinese export growth and overseas investment to the United States in the first half of this year.

"China has no option but to fight fire with fire".

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