China warns US it will unveil retaliatory tariffs soon

Beijing: China warned the United States on Wednesday that it will announce retaliatory measures “in the coming days” after Washington published a list of $50 billion in Chinese products that will face US tariffs. The commerce ministry said in a statement that tariff proposals are “completely unfounded, a typical unilateralist and protectionist practice that China strongly condemns and firmly opposes.”

The ministry echoed a Chinese embassy statement in Washington, which said that Beijing will resort to the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement mechanism, and take “corresponding measures of equal strength and scale against US products” in accordance with Chinese law. “These measures will be announced in the coming days,” the ministry added. “We are confident and capable of responding to any US trade protectionist measures.”

The US list — which includes electronics, aircraft parts, satellites, medicine, machinery and other goods — has yet to be finalised and is intended as a response to China’s alleged theft of American companies’ intellectual property and technology. The review process will last through at least May before it can take effect.

The state-run daily Global Times said on Monday that China has “nearly completed its list of retaliatory tariffs on US products and will release it soon.” “The list will involve major Chinese imports from the US,” the newspaper wrote, without saying which items were included, though the Global Times has suggested in the past that Beijing could hit major industries such as soybeans and aerospace.

China already retaliated on Monday to separate US tariffs on steel and aluminium by placing new duties on $3 billion worth of American goods, including pork, wine and fruits. The tit-for-tat actions have raised fears of a trade war, rattling global stock markets.

Agence France-Presse