China matches US tariff hike

9 August 2018

China matches US tariff hike

China will respond in kind to the United States’ decision to impose 25% tariffs on USD $16 billion (AUD $22 billion) worth of Chinese imports, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on Wednesday.

The new tariffs will take effect from 23 August — the same day the US’ tariffs take effect — and will target products including fuel, steel, cars, bicycles, medical equipment, fish meal, wood waste, paper, and scrap metal.

Both the US and China published their final lists of goods that will be subject to the new tariffs this week.

China’s list rose from 114 categories of goods to 333, but excludes crude oil and has not changed in total value.

“The US decided to impose a 25% tariff on USD $16 billion of Chinese exports to the United States from August 23,” the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on its website (in Chinese).

“Putting domestic law above international law is a very unreasonable practice.

“In order to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and the multilateral trading system, China has had to make the necessary countermeasures and decided to impose a 25% tariff on USD $16 billion of US imports and implement it in parallel with the US.”

So far the Chinese Government has refused to cave to pressure from US President Donald Trump to negotiate trade concessions, with the trade war between the countries escalating as tariffs on both sides expand.

The Chinese Government has said it will continue to impose equivalent retaliatory tariffs against any US action.

However, China has now either imposed or proposed tariffs on USD $110 billion worth of US imports, representing the vast majority of annual imports of American goods, while the US can continue to raise its tariffs due to its trade deficit with China — the US imports more from China than China imports from the US.