China hit back on Tuesday against new U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports, further inflaming fears of a full-bore trade war between the two countries.
In a rapid response to the Trump administration’s latest tariff move, the Chinese government said it would impose tariffs of 5% to 10% on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items including meat, nuts, alcoholic drinks, chemicals, clothes, machinery, furniture, and auto parts.
The new U.S. tariffs will also go into effect on Monday, starting at a rate of 10% before rising to 25% at the end of the year. They will apply to thousands of Chinese products, ranging from food seasonings and baseball gloves to network routers and industrial machinery parts.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu gathered with other senior economic officials on Tuesday to consider U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s invitation last week for more talks in Washington, but a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Trump’s latest tariff salvo “has brought uncertainty” to the planned negotiations.
According to CNN, “Analysts are skeptical China will be willing or able to do enough to satisfy the Trump administration on some of its key concerns, including Chinese efforts to get hold of U.S. technology and Beijing’s ambitious industrial policies.”
“The principal objective of the tariffs is probably not to bring Beijing to the bargaining table,” Arthur Kroeber, a senior analyst at research firm Gavekal, said in a note Tuesday. “Rather, it is to force US multinational companies to pull back their investments in China, so that the interdependence of the two rival economies is reduced.”
“Against this aim, no possible offer by China can cause the tariffs to be lifted,” he added.
President Trump has also threatened to add levies on about $267 billion of Chinese goods if China retaliates against his latest round of tariffs.
“We think the two sides need to sit down and negotiate an outcome that is beneficial to both countries,” Jake Parker, vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council in Beijing, told NPR.