US Hikes Tariffs On Chinese Goods Worth $16 Bln; China Retaliates

China has retaliated in the same measure against the US Government’s decision to impose 25 per cent import duty on additional Chinese products worth $16 billion, escalating a trade war between the two countries.

The US has applied new tariffs to a vast range of goods in 279 product categories, including children’s cots and bedding, animal medicines, semiconductors, plastics, chemicals and railway equipment, shrimps and shrimp products, handbags and fridges.

China responded immediately with tariffs on 333 US products worth $16 billion. They include coal, copper scrap, fuel, buses, cars, medical equipment, Harley motorcycles, bourbon and orange juice.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tried to downplay the counter-effects in an interview on CNBC.

“Naturally they’ll retaliate a little bit. But at the end of the day, we have many more bullets than they do. They know it,” Ross said.

The latest round of tariff hike from Washington, aimed at protecting US industry and business, came as a surprise, because Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen is currently visiting Washington for talks with U.S. Treasury undersecretary David Malpass, in an effort to reduce trade tensions between the to major economies.

The Trump administration faced heavy criticism by US business groups over raising tariffs on Chinese imports. Demand for their goods in China has fallen as US products became more expensive with heavy tariffs.

A statement released by China’s Commerce Ministry said the latest tariffs by the U.S. are a violation of World Trade Organization rules. The ministry vowed to file a lawsuit against the United States under the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism.

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