China vows to 'counterattack' U.S. as trade spat worsens

Published on Friday, 6 April 2018 22:11
Written by The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - China’s government vowed Friday to “counterattack with great strength” if President Donald Trump goes ahead with plans to raise U.S. tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth of Chinese goods and said negotiations were impossible under current conditions.

Trump’s surprise move Thursday to instruct the U.S. trade representative to consider additional tariffs came a day after Beijing said it would tax $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a U.S. move this week to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.

In Beijing, a Commerce Ministry spokesman said China doesn’t want a trade war - but isn’t afraid to fight one.

“If the U.S. side announces the list of products for $100 billion in tariffs, the Chinese side has fully prepared and will without hesitation counterattack with great strength,” spokesman Gao Feng said.

He gave no details of what measures Beijing might take.

Trump’s proposal intensified what was already shaping up to be the biggest trade battle since World War II. Global financial markets had fallen sharply as the world’s two biggest economies squared off over Beijing’s aggressive trade tactics. They calmed down Wednesday and Thursday on hopes the U.S. and China would find a diplomatic solution but slid Friday after Beijing said it would fight the Trump administration’s latest threats.

The White House announced after markets closed Thursday that Trump had instructed the Office of the United States Trade Representative to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate and, if so, to identify to which products they should apply. He’s also instructed his secretary of agriculture “to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests.”

“China’s illicit trade practices - ignored for years by Washington - have destroyed thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs,” Trump said in a statement announcing the decision.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Nation-World on Friday, 6 April 2018 22:11. Updated: Friday, 6 April 2018 22:14.