State media says China's response to latest US tariffs restrained, rational

VIDEO: REUTERS
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the 51st Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Singapore. Both the US and China implemented tariffs on US$34 billion worth of each others' goods in July duri
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the 51st Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Singapore. Both the US and China implemented tariffs on US$34 billion worth of each others' goods in July during their ongoing trade war. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING/SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - China's state media said on Saturday (Aug 4) the government's retaliatory tariffs on US$60 billion (S$82 billion)in US goods showed rational restraint, although in an opinion piece it still admonished the United States for blackmail and bullyboy tactics.

Late on Friday, China's finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, with the extra levies ranging from 5 to 25 per cent on a total value of goods less than half of that proposed by US President Donald Trump's administration.

The response follows the Trump administration's proposal of a 25 per cent tariff on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

"China's countermeasures are rational," according to a commentary in the Global Times, a tabloid run by the official People's Daily.

"China will not rush to compete with US numbers," it said, echoing comments made by state television.

The United States and China implemented tariffs on US$34 billion worth of each others' goods in July.

Washington is expected to soon implement tariffs on an additional US$16 billion of Chinese goods, which China has already said it will match immediately.

 
 
 

"The White House's extreme pressure and blackmail are already clear to the international community," said a state television commentary.

"Such methods of extreme blackmail will not bear fruit against China," it said.

TRUMP TOUTS TARIFFS

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Trump disagreed.  “Tariffs are working far better than anyone ever anticipated,” he claimed, citing a big drop in China’s stock market.

“They are really hurting their economy.”

Trump also claimed that China was talking to the United States about trade, but he provided no details.

He said his administration would continue to employ tariffs if other nations were unwilling to come to the table on trade.

“We are using them to negotiate fair trade deals,” Trump said.

China has now either imposed or proposed tariffs on US$110 billion in US goods, representing the vast majority of China's annual imports of American products. Last year, China imported about US$130 billion in goods from the United States.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, remained staunch on Washington's push for fairer trading conditions with China.

"President Trump inherited an unfair trade regime where American workers and American companies were not treated reciprocally or fairly by the Chinese, and the efforts of the Trump administration are to right that, to correct that," Pompeo said to reporters on the sidelines of a regional forum in Singapore on Saturday.

Pompeo added that he had discussed trade issues with China's State Councillor Wang Yi on Friday.