President Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. was not in “a trade war with China,’’ hours after Beijing announced tariff hikes on 50 billion dollars worth of U.S. products.
“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent people, who represented the U.S.,” Trump said.
Beijing’s announcement followed Washington’s publishing of a list of 50 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports that could be subject to punitive tariffs.
“Now, we have a trade deficit of 500 billion dollars a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another 300 billion dollars. We cannot let this continue!” Trump tweeted.
Also China hit back on Wednesday at the Trump administration’s plan to slap tariffs on 50 billion dollars in Chinese goods, retaliating with a list of similar duties on key U.S. imports including soybeans, planes, cars, whiskey and chemicals.
Beijing’s list of 25 per cent additional tariffs on U.S. goods covers 106 items with a trade value matching the 50 billion dollars targeted on Washington’s list, China’s commerce and finance ministries said.
The effective date will depend on when the U.S. action takes effect.
The announcement triggered further heavy selling in global stock markets and commodities, with U.S. stock futures sliding 1.5 per cent, soybean futures plunging 3.7 per cent and the dollar briefly extending early losses.
Hours earlier, the U.S. government unveiled a detailed breakdown of some 1,300 Chinese industrial, transport and medical goods that could be subject to 25 per cent duties, ranging from light-emitting diodes to chemicals and machine parts.
Washington’s move, broadly flagged in March, is aimed at forcing Beijing to address what Washington says is deeply entrenched theft of U.S. intellectual property and forced technology transfer from U.S. companies to Chinese competitors, charges Chinese officials deny.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Geng Shuang, said China had shown sincerity in wanting to resolve the trade dispute through negotiations.
“But the best opportunities for resolving the issues through dialogue and negotiations have been repeatedly missed by the U.S. side,” he told a regular briefing on Wednesday.
“We regret that soybeans are on the list. We have done everything to prevent this from happening, but we are still calling for a resolution,” said Zhang Xiaoping, China Director of the U.S. Soybean Export Council said.