8/2/2019 1:17:00 PM China threatens retaliation for tariff hike
BEIJING (AP) — China on today threatened retaliation if U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned tariff hikes go ahead, while the renewed acrimony between the two biggest global economies sent stock markets tumbling.
China’s government accused Trump of violating his June agreement with President Xi Jinping to revive negotiations aimed at ending a costly fight over Beijing’s trade surplus and technology ambitions.
Trump rattled financial markets with Thursday’s surprise announcement of 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports, effective Sept. 1. That would extend punitive duties to everything the United States buys from China. If that goes ahead, “China will have to take necessary countermeasures to resolutely defend its core interests,” said a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chuying.
“We don’t want to fight, but we aren’t afraid to,” Hua said at a regular news briefing. She called on Washington to “abandon its illusions, correct mistakes, and return to consultations based on equality and mutual respect.”
Washington and Beijing are locked in a battle over complaints China steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. The Trump administration worries American industrial leadership might be threatened by Chinese plans for government-led creation of global competitors in robotics and other technologies. Europe and Japan echo U.S. complaints those plans violate Beijing’s market-opening commitments.
Washington earlier imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products. Beijing has retaliated by raising import duties on $110 billion of U.S. goods.
Beijing is about to run out of American imports for retaliation due to their lopsided trade balance.
China imported U.S. goods worth about $160 billion last year. But regulators have extended retaliatory measures to include slowing down customs clearance for American companies and putting off issuing license in insurance and other fields.