China announced Friday that it will slap tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods should the Trump administration follow through with its plan to impose a new round of taxes on Chinese imports.
The potential tariffs would range from 5 to 20 percent on a wide range of American products, the Chinese Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website late Friday. Most of tariffs would hit U.S. agricultural products, with others on metals and chemicals.
“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,” the finance ministry stated, according to CNBC. “Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties.”
China’s notice of possible retaliation follows reports that the Trump administration is considering whether to more than double the rate of proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Washington originally proposed a 10 percent import tax when it announced the possible tariffs in July, but some of President Donald Trump’s trade advisers have argued for boosting the rate to 25 percent as a way to force China back to the negotiating table. (RELATED: US Could Raise Tariff Rate On $200 Billion Worth Of Chinese Goods)
Proposals to boost tariff rates comes as trade talks between Washington and Beijing have hit an impasse. U.S. trade negotiators have rejected Beijing’s offers to purchase more U.S.-made products, arguing they do nothing to address longstanding Chinese trade barriers such as currency manipulation, import quotas and intellectual property theft.
Washington has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on about $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, and similar tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of goods are expected to take effect next week. China has hit back with reciprocal tariffs on $34 billion in U.S. goods.
The White House has rejected concerns that tit-for-tat escalation could lead to a costly trade war, arguing that China has “more to lose” from being shut out of the U.S. market. Thus far, however, Beijing has not given any ground in the tariff battle and says it will respond in kind to Washington’s trade penalties.
“China has to take necessary counter-measures to defend the country’s dignity and the interests of the people,” the Chinese finance ministry said Friday.
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