China Responds to Trump’s New Tariff Hikes
After Trump’s series of tweets on Thursday about imposing a 10% tariff on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, Beijing responds. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said today that China would have to take countermeasures if the U.S. goes through with its decision to levy additional taxes starting in September.
Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said today at a daily press briefing in Beijing that China would not be blackmailed. She warned of retaliation if the U.S. carried out its threats to impose 10% duties on additional goods from China, starting September 1.
“If America does pass these tariffs then China will have to take the necessary countermeasures to protect the country’s core and fundamental interests,” Hua said at today’s news briefing in Beijing, as Reuters reports.
“We won’t accept any maximum pressure, intimidation, or blackmail. On the major issues of principle we won’t give an inch,” she said, adding that China is hopeful that the U.S. would “give up its illusions” and return to the right track of negotiations based on mutual respect and equality.
Hua underlined that China does not want a trade war with the United States but is not afraid of fighting in one either.
President Trump communicated his decision to slap more taxes on Chinese goods beginning next month in a series of tweets on Thursday. He justified this move by stating that China did not buy “large quantities” of agricultural products from the U.S. as it had previously agreed, and that it did not stop the sale of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, to the United States.
Even though the latest tax increase would technically amount to $30 billion (just 0.14% of GDP), considerably less than the $62.5 billion arising from the 25% duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, it might set off a psychological shift. This move would result in all goods entering the U.S. from China being subject to some form of taxation.
Wang Yi, a senior Chinese diplomat, commented on the events for a Chinese TV station, saying the new tariffs are neither the correct nor constructive way of resolving the bilateral trade tensions.