China says to 'take countermeasures' after new United States tariffs

China says to 'take countermeasures' after new United States tariffs

China says to 'take countermeasures' after new United States tariffs

China said Tuesday it will take "counter-measures" to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports and an American business group warned a "downward spiral" in their trade battle appears certain.

"To protect its legitimate rights and interests and order in worldwide free trade, China is left with no choice but to retaliate simultaneously", the commerce ministry said in a brief statement, without specifying what action it would take.

The South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday, citing an unidentified government source in Beijing, that China likely will not send a trade delegation to Washington after the Trump administration's latest tariff announcement.

"China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers due to their loyalty to me", Trump wrote. "Hopefully, this trade situation will be resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi of China, for whom I have great respect and affection".

The new round of tariffs will take effect on September 24 at a 10 percent level and rise to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.

The U.S. government withdrew some items from its preliminary list of $200 billion in Chinese imports to be taxed, including child-safety products such as bicycle helmets.

The lower Chinese figure highlights Beijing's inability to match the United States dollar-for-dollar in a tariffs war.

Trump is trying to bring China to the negotiation table for fairer trade policies.

This latest round means that around half of all Chinese imports to the USA are now subject to the new duties.

The officials said China had been given "chance after chance" to change the trade practices considered unfair to U.S. businesses, but "have remained obdurate".

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Smart watches and Bluetooth devices were removed from the tariff list, along with bicycle helmets, high chairs, children's vehicle seats, playpens and certain industrial chemicals.

China will further respond accordingly if the U.S. insists on increasing tariffs, according to the finance ministry. No items were added, the officials said.

The United States will spare Apple's Watch and other consumer gadgets from the latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods, a senior administration official has said in a last-minute reprieve for the technology industry. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week invited top Chinese officials to a new round of talks, but thus far nothing has been scheduled. "We hope that China will come to the table and address the concerns we have raised".

He also threatened to impose duties on another $267 billion in imports if China retaliated.

"Tensions in the global economic system have manifested themselves in the US-China trade war, which is now seriously disrupting global supply chains", the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement today.

"As President, it is my duty to protect the interests of working men and women, farmers, ranches, businesses, and our country itself", Trump said in a statement.

Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to say that any further action by China targeting U.S. farmers and industrial workers would result in "great and fast economic retaliation" from the US.

In remarks from the Roosevelt Room, he said he was confident an agreement could eventually be reached with China, but stressed such an accord must do right by American workers.

Beijing has retaliated in kind, but some analysts and American businesses are concerned it could resort to other measures such as pressuring USA companies operating in China.

That would mean imposing new taxes on all of the goods the United States imports from China.

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