International

China threatens new tariffs on $60 bn worth US goods

BEIJING, Aug 3 (Agencies): | Publish Date: 8/4/2018 2:11:26 AM IST

Beijing warned Friday it was prepared to impose new tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods if Washington ups the ante in the escalating US-China trade war.

The commerce ministry issued a statement saying the new duties would be applied if Washington pulled the trigger on President Donald Trump’s threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The Chinese reaction is sure to ratchet up tensions with the Trump administration at the end of a week that saw stock markets rattled by the intensifying trade battle.

“China always believes that consultation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit is an effective way to resolve trade differences,” the commerce ministry said.

“Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties.”

The statement said the date of implementation of the taxes will depend on the “actions of the US side” and China reserves the right to apply “other countermeasures”.

The threat came a day after Chinese officials appealed for dialogue based on “mutual respect”, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi urging the United States on Thursday to remain “cool-headed”. The commerce ministry threat came after Wang met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting of ASEAN in Singapore on Friday.

Washington and Beijing are locked in battle over American accusations that China’s export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of American technological know-how.

Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on virtually all of China’s exports to the United States in the tit-for-tat trade conflict.

 

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