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China announced the imposition of a series of counter tariffs on $3 billion worth of US fruit, pork, wine and more than 100 other goods, to hit back at the United States just hours after President Trump imposed tariffs on about $60 billion worth of Chinese goods.
A Commerce Ministry official said in a statement that, “China urges the United States to resolve China’s concerns as soon as possible, resolve bilateral differences through dialogue and consultation”
American-produced fresh fruit, nuts, wine, seamless steel pipes and other goods would be hit by 15 percent tariffs by the Chinese counter-tariffs, while more American goods could draw up to a 25 percent tariff.
Eswar Prasad, a senior professor of trade policy at Cornell University said, “The U.S. has unsheathed its sword…and the Chinese are now unsheathing their weapons”.
China would also “take legal action within the framework of the World Trade Organization”, Chinese Commerce Ministry said.
China’s ambassador to Washington, Cui Tiankai added, “We do not want a trade war with the United States or with anybody else, but we are not afraid of it… If somebody tries to impose a trade war upon us, we will fight”.
The $3 billion worth of goods that Beijing plans to penalize represent about 2 percent of US exports to China, which amounted to $130 billion last year, Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics is reported to have noted.
Other political-economists say that China has “picked its targets carefully by choosing goods that have political resonance. Much pork is produced in Nebraska and elsewhere in the Midwest, where Mr. Trump has strong support”.
With US President Trump showing no sign of relenting on his tariff regime and, China’s strongman President Xi Jinping in the chair for the long run, it is unlikely that a trade war can be averted, read pundits on both sides of the divide.