With the Trump administration threatening 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, China is warning retaliation after feeling “bullied” by the “completely unacceptable” latest round of tariffs, the country said in a statement, according to a report by Reuters. Because $200 billion exceeds the total value of goods China imports from the U.S., many are speculating China could get creative with its rebuttal.
This week, U.S. officials listed thousands of Chinese import items, including hundreds of food products, tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel, and aluminum, as well as consumer goods, that would be targeted with new tariffs by the Trump administration. This list is subject to a two-month public comment period before taking effect.
“For over a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer when announcing the proposed tariffs. “Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against U.S. products…there is no justification for such action.”
While China is not yet definitive on how it will respond to the latest round of tariffs, sources suggest “qualitative measures” could roll out soon. These measures would include more thorough inspections, delays in investment approvals, and consumer boycotts, all of which would threaten U.S. businesses in China. Other measures could include holding up licenses for U.S. companies, delaying approvals of mergers involving U.S. firms, and increasing border inspections of American goods, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Reuters reports Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based Head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics, expects China to strongly condemn the U.S. moves, but foresees policy response to be limited for now—“in part because they have only limited ammunition and in part because it’s still early in the process on the U.S. side,” he said.
While President Trump has followed through on pledges made during his presidential campaign to “get tough on China,” which may include imposing tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, some are critical of the aggression and how it will effect farmers and workers.
“Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple. Imposing taxes on another $200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of every day goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators. It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers,” said a U.S. Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman.
Last week, the U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, as we reported on our sister site. China responded immediately, going head-to-head with the U.S. by placing tariffs on the same amount of U.S. goods.
Will tension simmer or continue to heighten as China chooses its retaliation? Deli Market News will continue to report.