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China fires back at the US with higher tariffs on thousands of American products

14/05/2019

China on Monday said it would retaliate against the US by raising the tariff rates on thousands of American products, days after the US expanded duties on Chinese goods as trade negotiations stalled.

Beijing plans to increase tariffs on $60 billion worth of American imports starting June 1, China's Ministry of Finance said in a statement. The more than 5,000 items will face duties of 5% to 25%.

On Friday, the US more than doubled the tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, a move meant to penalize Beijing for making reversals on past trade commitments.

The Trump administration has also started to prepare new duties on about $325 billion worth of goods, which would see tariffs applied to nearly all shipments from China.

Progress toward defusing those escalations remained elusive last week even after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with Vice Premier Liu He in Washington for two days of negotiations.

Just hours before Beijing's announcement, President Donald Trump wrote a series of early-morning tweets urging China's leadership to refrain from moving forward with plans to retaliate.

"China should not retaliate-will only get worse!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

"I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don't make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China," he continued. "You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!"

China's foreign ministry pushed back against those comments, saying the country "will never surrender to external pressure."

Financial markets fell sharply Monday as trade tensions between the largest economies escalated. In the US, the three major stock indexes each shed 1% to 2% within the first hour of trading.

Neither the White House nor the Office of the US Trade Representative immediately responded to emails requesting comment.

Source: Market Insider