China says it will retaliate with tariffs on $60B of USA goods

China threatens tariffs on $60 billion in US goods

Beijing has announced plans to slap import taxes targeting 5,207 American products worth $60 billion in retaliation to trade tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by the US.

The ministry also warned that it reserves the right of further countermeasures in the intensifying trade war.

President Donald Trump this week ordered officials to consider imposing a 25 per cent tax on US$200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, up from an initial 10 per cent rate. Beijing retaliated by imposing similar charges on the same amount of USA products.

The statement said the date of implementation of the taxes will depend on the "actions of the USA side" and China reserves the right to apply "other countermeasures".

But analysts say that China can also absorb the hits by expanding stimulus programmes, fiscal spending and bank lending. "But those fears could materialize going forward if things get worse".

China had curtailed its imports of U.S. LNG over the last two months, even before its formal inclusion in the list of potential tariffs.

Beijing's Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said the tariffs would range from 5 percent to 25 percent.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry blamed the USA for escalating the situation.

"The implementation date of the taxation measures will be subject to the actions of the U.S., and China reserves the right to continue to introduce other countermeasures", China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

"They better not underestimate President Trump's determination to follow through on our asks". The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over USA demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit.

The list includes products as varied as snow blowers and 3-D printers, suggesting Chinese authorities were struggling to find enough imports that wouldn't disrupt their own economy.

China is willing to resolve differences with the United States "on the basis of an equal footing and mutual respect", China's top diplomat said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. On Friday officials also stepped into cushion the yuan, which has been battered by trade tensions and was approaching the key level of seven to the dollar.

China would likely hike purchases from Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq if the tariffs slowed US flows, said Neil Atkinson, head of the oil industry and markets division at the International Energy Agency. China's growing sweet tooth is seen as a big sales opportunity for worldwide makers of cookies and chocolate bars like Mars and Hershey HSY.N .

China became the world's second-biggest LNG importer in 2017, as it buys more gas in order to wean the country off dirty coal to reduce pollution.

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