China ‘preparing retaliatory tariffs’

BEIJING • China will soon announce a list of retaliatory tariffs on US exports to China to counter an expected announcement from the United States of proposed new tariffs on Chinese imports, the Global Times said yesterday.

The Chinese list will target a large number of major US imports to China, said the English-language editorial. The widely-read state run Global Times is run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, although its stance does not necessarily equate with Chinese government policy.

Trade tensions between the two nations flared last week after US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and targeted China by announcing plans for tariffs on up to US$60 billion (S$78.5 billion) of Chinese goods.

Alarm over a possible trade war between the world’s two largest economies has chilled financial markets as investors anticipated dire consequences should trade barriers go up due to Mr Trump’s bid to cut the US deficit with China. Markets are now waiting for the US to publish a list of Chinese products that could be targeted with additional tariffs after a US inquiry found China guilty of intellectual property theft and unfair trade.

“Compared to China’s list, the US list hurts itself more than China. The tougher the move, the stronger the impact on Washington,” said the Global Times in its editorial. “This will deal a heavy blow to Washington that aggressively wields the stick of trade war and will make the US pay a price for its radical trade policy towards China.”

The Global Times said the US was naive to think it could make China agree to unreasonable demands as China’s economy is strong and stable, while it has “weathered bluster before from previous US administrations”.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2018, with the headline 'China ‘preparing retaliatory tariffs’'. Print Edition | Subscribe