China unveils additional retaliatory tariffs on $60bn of United States goods


The Finance Ministry accused the Trump administration of damaging the global economy after it proposed hiking duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods in the second round of a dispute over technology.

China's Commerce Ministry said in a seperate statement Beijing's new set of proposed import tariffs on U.S. goods were rational and restrained.

China responded with tariffs on $3 billion worth of US items, largely agricultural products and metal.

"Cooperation is the only right choice for China and the United States", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Singapore, according to China's official Xinhua news agency.

Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on virtually all of China's exports to the United States.

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But Trump raised the stakes this week by asking the US Trade Representative to consider increasing the proposed tariffs on the US$200 billion worth of goods to 25 per cent.

The tariffs would range from 5 percent to 25 percent.

The Trump administration slapped duties on US$34 billion of Chinese goods last month, which prompted immediate retaliation from China, and another US$16 billion will likely follow in the coming days or weeks.

The yuan has also declined recently, threatening to take some of the bite out of tariffs by making imports cheaper, though the central bank took measures on Friday to stop it from further falling. "It has seriously violated the principles of the World Trade Organisation", Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted the statement as saying.

"The US side has repeatedly escalated the situation against the interests of both enterprises and consumers", the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in its statement. LNG's inclusion marks a deployment by Beijing of one of its last major weapons from its energy and commodities arsenal in its fight with Washington.

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China on Friday threatened to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

The market is not large by value compared with approximately $12 billion of US crude that came to China a year ago, but LNG imports could shoot up as Beijing forges ahead with its plan to switch millions of households to the fuel away from coal. The amount could be even larger if the United States resolves a logistics bottleneck.

The Republican president has been keen to show he is tough on trade ahead of tricky congressional elections in November, joking at a rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday: "China is not happy with me".

Today's threat targeting a smaller amount of US goods reflects the fact that Beijing is running out of products for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the United States.

"The U.S. gas industry will be much harder hit by this as China imports only a small volume whereas U.S. suppliers see China as a major future market", said Lin Boqiang, professor on energy studies at Xiamen University in China.

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