"Don't Underestimate Trump": US After China Threatens Retaliatory Tariffs

The Trump administration had initially announced a 10 percent tariff

The Trump administration had initially announced a 10 percent tariff

The announcement comes after US President Donald Trump threatened to raise the proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese exports from 10 percent to 25 percent.

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.

Mr Trump is aiming to reduce his country's $375.6 billion goods trade deficit - the gap between imports and exports - with China.

According to Reuters, the Chinese commerce minister said in a statement after the latest round of tariff threats that the United States had "repeatedly escalated the situation against the interests of both enterprises and consumers".

"China to take necessary countermeasures to defend the country's dignity and the interests of the people, defend free trade and the multilateral system, and defend the common interests of all countries in the world", the statement said.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with Asean foreign ministers, Wang said pressure from the United States would not have any impact on any trade negotiations.

China also left the door open for a resumption of negotiations.

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" The US is playing a carrot-and-stick tactic on China, but this approach is not going to work on China", the Ministry said. The Commerce Ministry's statement yesterday left out language that had been used previously pledging to fight back using the "same scale, same intensity" as the USA trade measures.

While US Census data shows it imported products from the country worth $505.5 billion past year, it exported just $129.9 billion.

"Other presidents have raised the issue of China's illegal and unfair trading and so forth", Kudlow said.

Among US products targeted were a wide range of agricultural and energy products such as beef and LNG. LNG's inclusion marks a deployment by Beijing of one of its last major weapons from its energy and commodities arsenal in its fight with Washington.

"As the total value of goods under tariffs shoots up, China has little choice but to use LNG and others to top up the value", said Lin Boqiang, professor on energy studies at China's Xiamen University. 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 .

The U.S. hit back with tariffs on 1,300 Chinese goods worth $50 billion. Helicopters with an empty weight of less than 2 tonnes were also on that list.

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