China Warns Of Retaliation If US Takes More Trade Steps

A Buddhist monk votes at a polling station during a general election in Phnom Penh Cambodia July 2018

The United States has already imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion.

"If someone wants a trade war", China's commerce minister Zhong Shan has said, "we will fight to the end".

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office declined to comment on the proposed tariff rate increase or on whether any changes would alter the deadlines laid out for comment period before implementation.

Officials said they remained in regular contact with their Chinese counterparts but could announce no new meeting.

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Last month, Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all goods imported from China.

Both White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have said the administration is open to further talks but China has not responded.

American companies have started to feel the pinch as well from global steel and aluminum tariffs and the first tranche of China-specific duties that cover just $34 billion of imports.

That led Trump to begin planning new tariffs on $200 billion in additional Chinese goods, triggering China's new plan to penalize imports on $60 billion in USA goods. Beijing retaliated with matching tariffs on the same amount of U.S. exports to China. "He's going to continue to put the pressure on China".

If the United States takes further steps to hinder trade, Beijing will retaliate, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has told a daily news briefing.

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Meanwhile, the Chinese economy is likely to feel a pinch, but that doesn't mean the country will back down, William Zarit, the chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China, tells NPR.

Trump has ultimately threatened tariffs on over $500 billion in Chinese goods, covering virtually all US imports from China. "Given the scope of the products covered, about half of all imports from China are facing tariffs, including consumer goods", Ennis said.

US President Donald Trump is now considering a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports, rather than the 10 percent previously touted, reports said Tuesday. "The cost increases will be passed on to customers, so it will affect most Americans pocketbooks".

Until now, senior administration officials have made great efforts to reassure investors and businesses that (a) tariffs are unlikely to be imposed; (b) even if imposed, the economic impact will be small; (c) the economy is strong enough to weather any hit; and (d) the short-term pain is worth the long-term gains from resetting relations with China.

Sources close to the internal United States deliberations told both Bloomberg and the Washington Post that the Trump administration is considering what would be a significant escalation of the current tariff regime against China, which now stands at 25 percent on $34 billion worth of primarily industrial goods, in place since early July.

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