SINGAPORE/BEIJING China yesterday urged the United States to "calm down" and return to reason after the Trump administration sought to ratchet up pressure for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 per cent tariff on US$200 billion (S$273 billion) worth of Chinese imports.
He is also betting that the USA could wield more leverage because Beijing cannot match the tariffs proposed on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
The threat of USA auto tariffs was placed on hold July 26 after Trump and Juncker agreed to refrain from "unilateral actions" while European Union and the United States endeavor to negotiate a trade pact.
A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, warned Tuesday that Beijing will "definitely fight back" to defend its "lawful rights and interests".
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods July 6 and sources say more penalties could come. China immediately responded with its own tariffs on United States goods worth $34 billion.
China said Friday it is poised to impose retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of USA imports, including coffee, honey and industrial chemicals, if Washington goes ahead with its latest trade threat. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said his agency is seeking comments from industry about the proposed tariffs, with a deadline of September 5.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appears on the NBC "Today" television program in New York, Thursday, April 21, 2016.
The US is considering 25% tariffs on $200bn (£152bn) of Chinese goods - more than double the 10% initially planned.
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China's commerce ministry said the U.S. tactics will have no effect on China, and will disappoint countries that are against trade wars.
Camuñez notes that the Trump administration has given mixed signals about how tough it's willing to be with China, and that has complicated efforts to resolve the conflict.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will fight back should the US further increase tariffs.
"China has illegally retaliated against U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".
Trump had said he would implement the $200 billion round as punishment for China's retaliation against the initial tariffs aimed at forcing change in China's joint venture, technology transfer and other trade-related policies.
The 25% tariffs would apply to the same products proposed in July.
China's vice-trade minister Wang Shouwen said last month in Geneva that "for any talks to be successful, no party should point a gun at the other party".
"It's very hard to see how this doesn't negatively impact all Americans in every walk of life", FDRA president and CEO Matt Priest previously told FN.