China imposes retaliatory tariffs on 128 US products

People selecting vegetables at a supermarket in Fuyang, in eastern China's Anhui province, on Feb 9, 2018.
People selecting vegetables at a supermarket in Fuyang, in eastern China's Anhui province, on Feb 9, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

China said new tariffs of up to 25 per cent announced on 128 kinds of American products - from pork, fruit and wine to scrap aluminium - took effect yesterday, amid fears of a trade war between the two economic giants.

However, analysts see the tit-for-tat tariffs, which will amount to US$3 billion (S$3.9 billion) - or just a small fraction of China's US imports - as a measured response to US tariffs imposed on Chinese steel and aluminium last month.

This is because China wants to avoid a trade war, they say.

Others believe that China may be waiting to see what new tariffs the Trump administration is preparing to punish Beijing for what Washington considers to be widespread violations of American intellectual property.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2018, with the headline 'China imposes retaliatory tariffs on 128 US products'. Print Edition | Subscribe