BEIJING, Kyodo - China on Monday announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. products and said it will increase tariff levels to a maximum 25 percent from the current 10 percent, starting June 1.
The Finance Ministry, in a statement issued after unsuccessful talks with Washington, said the tariffs will cover a total of 5,140 U.S. products.
The move came after the United States last Friday raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent, in the biggest escalation yet in Washington’s tit-for-tat trade war with Beijing.
Besides the hike, U.S. President Donald Trump has stepped up pressure on China by saying his administration was starting paperwork to impose a 25 percent levy on the remaining $325 billion of Chinese goods not yet subject to tariffs, in an effort to address what Washington regards as Beijing’s unfair trade practices.
The U.S. action came after Trump accused China of reneging on commitments it had made during months of negotiations.
The Chinese Finance Ministry’s statement criticized the latest U.S. move as jeopardizing the interests of both sides and running contrary to the consensus between them on resolving trade differences through consultations.
Earlier Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry also struck a defiant tone, with spokesman Geng Shuang telling reporters, “We have said many times that imposing tariffs will not solve any problem.”
“China has never succumbed to any external pressure, and we are determined and able to defend our legitimate rights and interests,” he said. (Kyodo)