China strikes RM246b of US goods in retaliation

By BLOOMBERG

HONG KONG • China announced it will take retaliatory tariff action against US$60 billion (RM246 billion) of US goods, sharply escalating the trade war as the Trump administration considers imposing duties on virtually all Chinese imports.

China’s retaliatory tariffs, ranging from 5% to 10% on more than 5,000 items, will take effect on Sept 24, China’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement posted on its website. Beijing is still ready to negotiate an end to the trade tensions, it said.

At almost the same time the tariff list was released in Beijing, President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened more counter-measures against China if it targets politically potent US agricultural products for retaliation.

“China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me,” Trump said on Twitter. “What China does not understand is that these people are great patriots and fully understand that.”

In an announcement on Monday, Trump ordered his administration to levy 10% tariffs on about US$200 billion in Chinese goods on Sept 24 and to more than double the rate in January if Beijing refuses to offer trade concessions. The latest round of duties comes on top of a 25% tariff already imposed on about US$50 billion in Chinese goods.

Trump said the US will immediately pursue additional tariffs on about US$267 billion of Chinese imports if Beijing hits back to the US$200 billion round.