China softens response to fresh US tariff threats

Containers at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China, on April 24, 2018.
Containers at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China, on April 24, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Chinese officials yesterday did not repeat a previous pledge to respond in kind to new US tariffs looming next month, in a sign that Beijing might be softening its stance in its ongoing trade war with the US.

Analysts say one reason for China's calm response to President Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on US$200 billion (S$272 billion) worth of Chinese goods could be China's huge trade surplus with the country. Beijing could no longer match Washington dollar-for-dollar in tariff action, they say.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2018, with the headline 'China softens response to fresh US tariff threats'. Print Edition | Subscribe