Hitting back at the United States, the Chinese government Friday announced that it will immediately impose penalties of “equal strength” on US products after Donald Trump decided to impose 25 per cent tariff on USD 50 billion of Chinese goods.
Besides, China was also scrapping deals to buy more American farm goods and other exports as part of efforts to defuse a sprawling dispute over its trade surplus and technology policy, said the Commerce Ministry.
While a ministry statement divulged no details, a $50 billion list of possible targets announced in April included soybeans, light aircraft, orange juice, whiskey and beef. Much of the impact would fall on Trump’s rural supporters.
“The Chinese side doesn’t want to fight a trade war, but facing the shortsightedness of the U.S. side, China has to fight back strongly,” the statement said. “We will immediately introduce tax measures of equal scale and equal strength, and all economic and trade achievements reached by the two sides will be invalidated.”
The Trump administration’s decision came in the wake of complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. According to American officials, they target products that might benefit from Chinese industrial policies they say violate Beijing’s free-trade commitments.
After a round of talks in May in Washington, Chinese officials had promised to buy more American farm goods, natural gas and other products to narrow China’s multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States. But after a June 3 meeting in Beijing, the Chinese government warned it would discard those deals if Trump’s tariff hike went ahead.
In addition, Beijing has announced plans to cut import duties on autos and some consumer goods and to ease limits on foreign ownership in auto manufacturing, insurance and some other industries, though those don’t directly address U.S. complaints.