New US tariffs unacceptable, says China

A worker handling steel cable at a steel factory in Lianyungang, in China's eastern Jiangsu province.
A worker handling steel cable at a steel factory in Lianyungang, in China's eastern Jiangsu province. PHOTO: AFP

China has reacted strongly to the US announcement of new tariffs on US$200 billion (S$272 billion) of Chinese goods, calling it "totally unacceptable" and "typical bullying", and warning that it will take necessary counter-measures.

But as its imports of United States products are vastly smaller than its exports, it will not be able to impose reciprocal tariffs and will have to find other ways to hit back.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry called the move "typical trade bullying", and urged the international community to work together to "resolutely resist unilateralism, oppose protectionism and maintain the multilateral trading system".

Stock markets around the globe fell as the latest US announcement and the Chinese response indicated a deepening and protracted trade conflict between the world's two largest economies that could hit global trade and growth.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2018, with the headline 'New US tariffs unacceptable, says China'. Print Edition | Subscribe