China threatens USA with $60B in tariffs on coffee, honey

Virginia Carson
August 3, 2018

A ministry statement said, "China is forced to take countermeasures".

"Instead of retaliating, China should address the long-standing concerns about its unfair trading practices", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in an emailed statement.

The Trump administration will propose raising its planned 10 per cent tariffs on $US200 billion ($270 billion) in Chinese imports to 25 per cent, ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to return to the negotiating table, three people familiar with the internal deliberations said.

Trump has ultimately threatened tariffs on over US$500 billion in Chinese goods, covering virtually all U.S. imports from China.

The Trump administration slapped duties on US$34 billion of Chinese goods last month, which prompted immediate retaliation from China, and another US$16 billion will likely follow in the coming days or weeks.

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The escalating dispute, with no settlement in sight, has fueled fears it might chill global trade and economic growth.

The dispute is part of broader US complaints about global trading conditions that have prompted Trump to raise duties on steel, aluminum, washing machines or solar panels from Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.

Why is China threatening more tariffs?

"Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties".

The United States reached a surprise deal on trade last week under which Washington agreed not to put any new tariffs on imports from the European Union, forestalling a possible 25 percent levy on auto imports the Trump administration has been considering.

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"The implementation date of the taxation measures will be subject to the actions of the USA, and China reserves the right to continue to introduce other countermeasures", the statement said.

The United States and China have the world's biggest trading relationship but official ties are increasingly strained over complaints Beijing's technology development tactics hurt American companies.

Today's new tariffs are set at levels of 25, 20, 10 and five percent.

But analysts say that China can absorb the blow by expanding stimulus programmes, fiscal spending and bank lending.

"The US and China have backup plans in areas like technology and agriculture, where they can look towards importing from third-party nations", Ye Tan, an independent Chinese economic analyst, told AFP.

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