China announced that it will increase tariffs imposed on about $60 billion of US goods in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s latest escalation of the trade war.
The tariffs will take effect on June 1, according to a statement on the Ministry of Finance’s website on Monday. The charges will thereby be raised on most of the goods listed on a previous retaliation list effective last September.
The yearlong trade frictions between the world’s two biggest economies worsened last week when the Trump Administration announced an extra 25 per cent tariff on thousands of Chinese products worth about $200 billion. The US is set to release a plan to levy a 25 per cent additional tariff on all remaining imports from China later on Monday.
The ministry also said in another statement that importers and associations can apply for exemptions for goods on the tariff lists. Once approved, the goods will be excluded and won’t be subject to the punitive tariffs for one year. Companies can also get a rebate of already paid tariffs.
“China’s tariff move is in response to the US unilateralism and trade protectionism,” the ministry said in a separate statement on Monday. “China hopes that the US will return to the right track of bilateral trade talks, work together with China and meet each other halfway, to reach a win-win and mutually beneficial agreement on the basis of mutual respect.”
The announcement came less than two hours after Trump warned Beijing not to retaliate after China said it “will never surrender to external pressure.”
The trade war escalated on Friday after Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, saying China had reneged on earlier commitments made during months of trade negotiations.
Beijing had vowed to respond to the latest US tariffs. “As for the details, please continue to pay attention. Copying a US expression — wait and see,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing on Monday.
US stocks sank after China retaliated with higher tariffs on a range of American goods. The S&P 500 headed for the biggest decline since January 3 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped more than 500 points after China targeted some of the nation’s biggest exporters.