WASHINGTON (AP) - Chinaâ€™s government vowed Friday to â€ścounterattack with great strengthâ€ť 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.
Trumpâ€™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 doesnâ€™t want a trade war - but isnâ€™t afraid to fight one.
â€śIf 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,â€ť spokesman Gao Feng said.
He gave no details of what measures Beijing might take.
Trumpâ€™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 worldâ€™s two biggest economies squared off over Beijingâ€™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 administrationâ€™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. Heâ€™s also instructed his secretary of agriculture â€śto implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests.â€ť
â€śChinaâ€™s illicit trade practices - ignored for years by Washington - have destroyed thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs,â€ť Trump said in a statement announcing the decision.