US – China Trade War Gets Nasty, Beijing to Raise Duties on US$60 Billion of US Good

The US-China trade war has taken a nasty turn with Beijing expected to raise duties on US$60 billion of American goods on June 1. The Chinese Ministry of Finance said tariffs on thousands of US products will rise to as high as 25 per cent, from the original 10 per cent. Last Friday, the US hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 per cent from 10 per cent as China vowed to take ‘necessary countermeasures’.

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Moreover, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing will not bow to outside pressure with the renewal of US tariffs on Chinese imports. “We have many times said that increasing tariffs will not solve any problems. China will never surrender to foreign pressure.” Shuang also said that he hoped China would meet the US and resolve Beijing’s reasonable concerns on the basis of mutual respect and equality.

A wide range of food products including cooking oils, frozen vegetables, wine, beer and other beverages, industrial minerals and chemicals, textiles and clothing, jewellery, metal products, machinery parts and consumer items have taken the hit. China’s Finance Ministry has accused the raised US tariffs of ‘leading to the escalation of trade frictions between China and the US’.

Shuang said the retaliatory tariffs on US$60 billion US products will be imposed at four different levels – 25 per cent tariffs on 2,493 items of goods, 20 per cent on 1,078 items, 10 per cent on 974 items and five per cent on 595 items.

This decision comes days after a Chinese delegation led by Vice-President Liu failed to reach a deal with the US counterparts in Washington to end the months-long trade war. An official statement by Beijing said that “China hopes the United States will return to the right track of bilateral trade negotiations, work together with China and meet China halfway to reach a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality.”