Vision1 FM                       Light FM                         Light TV

Trade war begins as China strikes back against US over tariffs

A trade war broke out between the world's two largest economies, after China struck back on Friday with its own set of tariffs on American goods, shortly after the US levied $34bn of duties on Chinese imports.



Washington increased tariffs at 12:01am Eastern time (04:01 GMT) on $34bn worth of Chinese imports, a first step in what could become an accelerating series of tariffs.

Just hours after the US tariffs took effect, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters in Beijing that China has also imposed its own countermeasures, and that it took effect at 12:01pm Beijing time (04:01 GMT). 

Earlier, China's Ministry of Commerce said it would be "forced to make a necessary counterattack".

Speaking from the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, on Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also weighed in on the trade dispute, saying that no one will emerge a winner from a trade war.   

Beijing had earlier released a target list of $34bn worth of imported US goods, including lobsters, soybeans, electric cars and other agricultural products, that also faced 25 percent tariffs.

"China promised to not fire the first shot, but to defend national core interests and the interests of the people it has no choice but to strike back as necessary," the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

The ministry called the US actions "a violation of world trade rules" and said that it had "initiated the largest-scale trade war in economic history."

China's state news website, Xinhua, described the US action against Beijing on Friday as typical of a "trade bully".

US Customs and Border Protection officials were due to collect 25 percent duties on a range of products, starting on Friday, including motor vehicles, computer disk drives, parts of pumps, valves and printers and many other industrial components.

The list avoids direct tariffs on consumer goods such as mobile phones and footwear. But some products, including thermostats, are lumped into intermediate and capital goods categories.
More tariffs expected

Al Jazeera's Rob McBride, reporting from Beijing, said that while the $34bn in goods "doesn't equate to a huge amount given the size of the world's biggest economies, it is more the gesture and what it might lead to."

"The US has said that it is prepared to put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of more goods and China has said it will match that," he added.

US President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday that US tariffs on an additional $16bn in Chinese goods are set to take effect in two weeks.
In 2017, the US exported more than $1.3bn worth of seafood to China [File: AP]

Trump also said the US is ready to target an additional $200bn in Chinese imports - and then $300bn more - if Beijing does not yield to US demands and continues to retaliate.

That would bring the total of targeted Chinese goods to potentially $550bn - more than the $506bn in goods that China shipped to the US last year.

The Trump administration contends China has deployed predatory tactics in a push to overtake US technological dominance. These tactics include cyber-theft and requiring American companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to China's market.
'Don't doubt Beijing's resolve'

The official newspaper China Daily accused the Trump administration of "behaving like a gang of hoodlums" who could do damage to the global economy unless other countries stop them.

"There should be no doubting Beijing's resolve," the newspaper said.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China appealed to both sides to negotiate a settlement.

"There are no winners in a trade war," said the chamber's chairman, William Zarit, in a statement. It said US companies want fairer treatment but will be hurt by US-Chinese tensions.

"We urge the two governments to come back to the negotiation table," said Zarit.



SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

More News..

Kumasi: IGP Bolts As Irate Youth Disrupt Peace Meeting Kumasi: IGP Bolts As Irate Youth Disrupt Peace Meeting 2018-07-21 - Violence has erupted in Asawase a suburb of Kumasi in the Ashanti...
Midland Savings frowns on assault of nursing mother by policeman Midland Savings frowns on assault of nursing mother by policeman 2018-07-21 - The management of Midland Savings and Loans has condemned the...
Minor brutality: as a police officer beats up woman holding baby Minor brutality: as a police officer beats up woman holding baby 2018-07-21 - There is outrage on social media over an act of police brutality...
Ronaldo 'Accepts Two-year Suspended Prison Sentence And Pays £12.1m' To End Tax Dispute Ronaldo 'Accepts Two-year Suspended Prison Sentence And Pays £12.1m' To End Tax Dispute 2018-07-20 - Cristiano Ronaldo has ended his dispute with the Spanish tax...
Jealous Man, 30, kills girlfriend after breakup Jealous Man, 30, kills girlfriend after breakup 2018-07-20 - Police at Awutu Breku in the Central Region have arrested a ...
No VAT Increase; Minister Shame NDC No VAT Increase; Minister Shame NDC 2018-07-20 - Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has disclosed that contrary...
Irate Damongo SHS headmaster burns 300 mobile phones of students Irate Damongo SHS headmaster burns 300 mobile phones of students 2018-07-20 - The headmaster of Damongo Senior High School in the Northern...