China said it would take retaliatory measures in case the United States goes ahead with planned tariff hikes, calling Washington to “meet each other halfway” to settle trade disputes.
During a news briefing on Thursday, Aug. 22, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said new U.S. tariffs would “lead to an escalation of economic and trade friction,” the Associated Press reported.
The U.S. Trade Representative office announced earlier this month that the United States is preparing to impose “an additional tariff of 10 percent on $300 billion of Chinese imports” from September 1 as announced by President Donald Trump in August 1.
The office also noted that certain Chinese products will be removed from the new tariff list, and some others will be delayed from duties till December 15, including cellphones, laptops and other consumer goods.
A trade deal is still evasive even though a dozen of meetings have been held between the United States and China.
The next round of trade talks is expected to take place in September, but a possible deal remains out of reach. The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on Chinese imports over accusations of its theft of intellectual property, forced transfer of technology, cyberhacking and industrial espionage, which Beijing may find it difficult to solve in the short term.
In addition, President Trump has recently raised the Hong Kong issue with China in trade talks, warning any China’s crackdown against pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong would make it “very hard” for Beijing to reach a trade deal.
The latest warnings from China have little chance of moving President Trump, who did what he had said as indicated in the previous tariff rounds.
During a meeting with the president of Romania in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Aug. 20, President Trump stressed his determination to take on China, blaming the country for ripping off the United States for 25 years.
“The fact is, somebody had to take China on. My life would be a lot easier if I didn’t take China on. But I like doing it because I have to do it. And we’re getting great results,” President Trump said.
“I could be sitting here right now with a stock market that would be up 10,000 points higher if I didn’t want to do it. But I think we have no choice but to do it,” the president said.