Beijing: China on Monday retaliated against Donald Trump’s taxes on imported steel and aluminium with its own tariffs on a series of products from the United States, including meat, fruit and wine.
The measures, which came with a warning from state media that Beijing is prepared to “show its strength” towards the US, could seriously harm the livelihoods of American farmers, a group which is seen as being part of Trump’s core support.
Beijing announced extra tariffs of up to 25% on 128 US products, measures which match a list of potential tariffs on up to $3 billion worth of US goods which was published in China last month.
The Chinese finance ministry says in a statement that the new tariffs begin today. The announcement follows warnings Chinese officials have made for several weeks in an escalating trade dispute with the United States.
China’s Customs Tariff Commission is increasing the tariff rate on eight imported US products, including pork, by 25%. It’s also imposing a new 15% tariff on 120 imported US commodities, including fruits.
The tariffs mirror Trump’s 25% charge on imported steel and 15% hike on aluminum. Trump’s tariffs are partly a response to complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a statement that it was suspending its obligations to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and that the new tariffs would start on Monday.