US-China Trade War Heats Up, China Announces Tariffs On 128 US Imports

| April 2 , 2018 , 11:01 IST

The Chinese government has announced that it will be imposing increased tariffs of up to 25 percent on 128 US products, including pork and certain fruits, effective from Monday. The announcement comes in response to US President Donald Trump's recent trade restrictions on China, which appear to have sparked a trade war between the two nations.

China's official government-controlled media site People's Daily quoted the nation's Ministry of Finance confirming the new import tariffs.

"China imposes tariffs on 128 items of imports from the U.S. including pork and fruit products starting Monday as a countermeasure in response to a previous U.S. move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports," People's Daily quoted the Ministry of Finance as saying.

"China urged the US to revoke protective measures that violated World Trade Organisation rules to bring the bilateral trade of related products back to normal, according to an MOC (Ministry of Commerce) comment on China's new decision to discontinue tariff concessions on 128 items of US products starting Monday," the next tweet said.

"It is China’s legitimate right as a WTO member to suspend tariff concessions on 128 US products and balance the loss caused by the US Section 232 tariffs, which violate int'l trade rules and seriously jeopardize China’s interests," People's Daily quoted a MOC statement as saying.

If US products become more expensive in China it would likely result in Chinese buyers opting for products from Europe, South America or elsewhere, although White House officials have routinely discounted the chances of it happening.

In early March, Trump had announced his intentions of applying steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, exempting several countries, but not China, accusing Chine of misusing intellectual property laws. Subsequently, in late March, Trump ordered import tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, to which China responded by ordering tariffs on $3 billion of US imports.