Beijing responded to President Donald Trump’s threat to punish China with $100 billion in additional tariffs, warning that China will “counterattack with great strength.”
“If the U.S. side announces the list of products for $100 billion in tariffs,” Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said Friday, “The Chinese side has fully prepared and will without hesitation counterattack with great strength.” He did not specify what countermeasures China might take in response.
He added that trade negotiations are impossible, explaining that “under these circumstances, the two sides cannot possibly conduct any negotiations about this issue.”
Trump announced in March that he plans to impose around $50 billion in trade tariffs on China in response to aggressive Chinese theft of American intellectual property and forced technology transfers. China responded by taking aim at key American exports.
Troubled by China’s response, Trump announced Thursday evening that he is considering targeting China with additional trade penalties.
“In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the [United States Trade Representative] to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate,” the president said in a statement. “Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers.”
Trump has insisted that the dispute is not a trade war, but the tit-for-tat exchanges and threats seem to signal that if it is not already a trade war, it will be very soon.
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