China vows retaliation for latest $200bn USA tariff threat

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg

Soybean prices have fallen dramatically in recent weeks. Daniel Acker Bloomberg

Since then, the president has said his administration could impose duties on virtually all Chinese imports into the U.S.

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"The threat to the US economy is less about a question of "if" and more about "when" and 'how bad, '" David French, an executive at the National Retail Federation, told The New York Times.

He spoke Wednesday at China's turn for a regular WTO review of countries' trade policies.

The tariffs are a "reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm USA families and workers", French said.

The Chinese government has vowed to take "firm and forceful measures" against USA threats to expand tariff hikes. "We have been very clear and detailed regarding the specific changes China should undertake", highlighted Lighthizer.

Investor confidence started to return early this week amid a momentary lull in the trade war, following Beijing's retaliation tariffs on USA imports last week after Trump hit China with a 25 per cent tariff worth $34bn on imports.

The Chinese commerce ministry has slammed the U.S. plan to impose tariffs on additional imports worth some $200 billion as totally unacceptable, promising a mirror response to defend its national interests.

China slammed the latest United States tariff threat as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle and vowed Wednesday to protect its "core interests". China will soon file new complaints at the World Trade Organization to safeguard its legitimate interests. "American retailers and the families we serve barely had time to process the barrage of tariffs implemented last week", vice-president of International Trade Hun Quach said in a statement. Given the tough stance both sides are taking right now, expect this trade war to worsen before it improves.

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While the first round of US tariffs focused on Chinese industrial products, which have less of a direct impact on American consumers, the most recent list of tariffs includes fish, apples, and furniture. "There is no justification for such action", Mr Lighthizer said. They warned tariffs on imports raise consumer prices and expose US farmers and manufacturers to retaliation.

South Korea's exports to China jumped 30 per cent in June, driven by chips and other intermediary goods, the trade ministry said earlier this month.

Orrin Hatch, the Republican Senate Finance Chairman, condemned the move as "reckless" and not "targeted", while USA stock index futures fell in early Asian trading.

That came four days after Washington added 25 percent duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing responded by increasing taxes on the same amount of American imports.

"They are a vital trading partner, and we need to continue to do business with China without the sting of these tariffs", said American Soybean Association President John Heisdorffer in a news release.

The latest escalation in the trade dispute sent markets lower.

"The outburst of large-scale mutual levying of tariffs between China and the United States will inevitably destroy Sino-US trade", he told the forum.

"Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against United States products".

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