China has said it will impose new tariffs on $60bn worth of imports from the US, including aircraft and liquefied natural gas, in a rapid riposte to Donald Trump’s latest threat to raise US levies on Chinese goods. In the latest salvo in the growing trade battle between the world’s two biggest economies, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Friday that its decision was a response to the US’s proposal to raise the rate of threatened tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese exports to 25 per cent, up from an original plan of 10 per cent.
Those tariffs could take effect next month. “The implementation and date of [Chinese] tariffs will be decided by US actions,” the ministry said. Beijing’s tariffs threat signals that the dispute with the US, which has unsettled financial markets and started to disrupt crucial global supply chains, is likely to continue escalating in the months to come. Low-level talks have yet to agree on even the contours of further negotiations, with both sides showing no sign of backing down.
The White House quickly fired back on Friday, calling China’s latest threat a miscalculation. “I am privy to what President Trump has been thinking and he is going to stand tough,” Larry Kudlow, the head of Mr Trump’s National Economic Council, told Fox Business television.