China plans tariffs on $60bn of US goods in latest trade salvo

Bao Tong former top aide to ousted Chinese premier Zhao Ziyang is shown in a file

China has announced retaliatory tariffs on $US60 billion ($81bn) worth of United States goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft and warned of further measures, signalling it will not back down in a protracted trade war with Washington.

The Chinese government said Friday that it would impose duties of 25%, 20%, 10% and 5% on the products if the Trump administration follows through on threats to tax $200 billion of Chinese goods.

The US imposed 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese goods in early July, with another US$16 billion to be targeted in coming weeks, drawing an in-kind retaliation from China.

"Instead of retaliating, China should address the longstanding concerns about its unfair trading practices, many of which are laid out in USTRs 301 report", Sanders told Breitbart News in a response to news of the $60 billion in Chinese retaliatory tariffs on USA goods.

But Trump raised the stakes this week by asking the US Trade Representative to consider increasing the proposed tariffs on the US$200 billion worth of goods to 25 per cent.

The White House has responded by saying Beijing's threats are weak and that the Chinese economy is in trouble.

The two countries have been embroiled for months in a trade conflict that has threatened to hurt consumers in both countries.

The United States was the fourth-largest supplier of foreign chocolate products to China in 2017, worth around $24 million, after Italy, Russia and Belgium, according to customs data.

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Lawmakers from both parties continued to voice their opposition to Trump's tariffs, urging the administration to get back to the negotiating table.

The Bank of England said on Thursday protectionist trade policies were beginning to have an adverse impact, most notably on indicators of global goods trade.

Beijing said the timing of the new tariffs would depend on whether the United States follows through on its threat.

China's imports from the United States a year ago totalled $153.9 billion.

Beijing can not match those measures dollar for dollar, as its exports far exceed imports. The Asian country has long suggested that if the United States moves forward with its own threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products, a reactionary move escalating the trade war would be inevitable.

"The US and China have backup plans in areas like technology and agriculture, where they can look towards importing from third-party nations", Ye Tan, an independent Chinese economic analyst, told AFP.

Answering a reporter's question about what was specifically said on trade, Wang said: "We did not speak in such details".

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