China unveils additional retaliatory tariffs on $60bn of USA goods

An investor sits in front of private stock trading boards at a private stock market in Kuala Lumpur. – AP

The first wave of 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods took effect last month, prompting immediate in-kind retaliation from China, and the next round on $16 billion could be implemented by the U.S.in the coming days or weeks.

"Any unilateral threat or blackmail is only going to escalate the conflict and hurt everybody's interests".

"We don't have anything to announce today about a specific event, or a specific round of discussions, but communication remains open and we are trying to figure out whether the conditions present themselves for a specific engagement between the two sides", one off the officials said.

Part of the strategy seems to be to intensify the pressure on China quickly through rapid escalation in the hope it will force an early restart of negotiations on advantageous terms and permit de-escalation quickly, before the economic damage becomes too great.

Trump recently threatened to slap punitive tariffs on all Chinese exports to the U.S., which amounted to more than $500 billion past year.

China will continue to regard the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the priority of its neighborhood diplomacy and be committed to good neighborliness and friendship, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, he said, adding that China supports ASEAN community building as well as ASEAN's central role.

So far, the trade war appears to have hit China's economy and financial markets harder than the United States, which has given the administration confidence that it is escalating from a position of strength. The U.S. responded by promising to support farmers with $12 billion in emergency aid aimed at making farmers better able to withstand the loss of sales to China.

White House says Trump's resolve is firm on China trade
The ministry said timing of the implementation of the new tariffs on U.S. goods would depend on the actions of the US. It was not clear from the China commerce ministry announcement which US goods would be levied with the new tariffs.

Last month, the US proposed 10 percent tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese products - from parachutes to sardines - in response to China's retaliation.

But China exports far more to the United States than the other way round, making it more challenging for the country to hit back against USA tariffs.

Meanwhile, the Chinese economy is likely to feel a pinch, but that doesn't mean the country will back down, William Zarit, the chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China, tells NPR. "Given the scope of the products covered, about half of all imports from China are facing tariffs, including consumer goods", Ennis said.

"Pressure and blackmail from the USA won't work", Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a briefing in Beijing, the New York Times reported.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says Trump directed the increase from a previously proposed 10% duty because China has refused to meet US demands and has imposed retaliatory tariffs on US goods. "The cost increases will be passed on to customers, so it will affect most Americans' pocketbooks".

China's government warned Wednesday it will retaliate if Washington imposes new trade penalties, following a report the Trump administration will propose increasing the tariff rate on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports. He also has threatened a further round of tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

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