China Unveils New Tariffs as Trade War Escalates

China Unveils New Tariffs as Trade War Escalates

China on Friday announced new duties that will hit $75 billion of American exports.

A LITTLE MORE THAN A week after President Donald Trump's administration announced plans to delay and retool tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, Beijing fired a new shot in an ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies.

China on Friday announced plans to unleash two swaths of tariffs on American exports, the first to hit on Sept. 1 and the second on Dec. 15 – the same day that the Trump administration has threatened to launch its own duties, which the president said he delayed to avoid raising prices on American consumers during the holiday shopping season.

The tariffs are expected to hit agriculture products, cars and automotive products and oil exported from the U.S. The auto tariffs, if implemented, could be as high as 25%, though most of the other tariffs are in the 5% to 10% range.

"China has ammunition to fight back. The U.S. side will feel pain," Hu Xijin, editor in chief at the state-run Global Times.

Despite Trump's decision to delay U.S. tariff implementation, the Chinese State Council said in a statement on Friday that the move is a "response to the measures by the U.S." Representatives from both countries are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks to continue ironing out their trade differences, though China's announcement on Friday will undoubtedly escalate tensions.

"In the negotiations, we'll continue behind closed doors," White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Friday during an appearance on Fox Business. "I think the way China is reacting to this whole thing is simply reinforcing America's perception of China as a bad actor."

The announcement is the latest in a tit-for-tat series of tariffs and tariff threats that have thrown global supply chains and trade prospects into disarray, dragging not only on U.S. and Chinese economic expansion but broader international growth as well.

"The recent rise in nationalist, patriotic behaviour in China means that it would have been impossible for the Chinese government not to react to the latest U.S. tariffs," Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at The Economist Intelligence Unit, said in a statement Friday morning. "The timing of China's announcement comes straight before the G7 summit opens, which is no coincidence. There is no doubt that world leaders will discuss this development at the G7."

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