US launches tariffs on $50B of Chinese goods, China retaliates immediately

Global Business

Specialist Dilip Patel, left, and Glenn Carell works at their post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, June 15, 2018. U.S. stocks fell with other markets around the world on Friday after the Trump administration stepped up the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies by announcing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

China has announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S after President Trump imposed duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports.

Just weeks ago, the two countries had agreed to drop tit-for-tat duties against each other. But Trump now has opened up a new front in a global trade battle.

CGTN’s Owen Fairclough in Washington and Zou Yun in Beijing report.

Two weeks ago, U.S President Donald Trump unleashed tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.  Now add his biggest trading partner, China.

“We’re putting tariffs on $50 billion worth of technology and other things because we have to — because we’ve been treated very unfairly. But China has been terrific, President Xi has been terrific, President Moon, everybody. We’re all working together because of me,” said Trump.

That’s not a view Beijing shares, accusing the U.S of “igniting a trade war” and announcing it will respond with duties on an equal value of U.S imports on July 6th. These include farm produce and vehicles-two mainstays of the U.S economy.

China will suffer 25 percent tariffs on more than 800 products and proposed duties on nearly 300 tech goods that will undergo further review before a final decision.

Trump claims that U.S companies who help manufacturer these high-value products are forced to hand over trade secrets to Chinese partners, compromising national security.

China denies this and responded swiftly by announcing tariffs of its own. The State Council said China will impose duties on 659 categories of U.S. goods. The rate is the same, 25 percent, and so is the collective value of the goods—$50 billion.

There are two separate lists of U.S. products. The first includes 545 product lines valued at roughly $34 billion. They include agricultural products and automobiles. China will start collecting higher taxes on these products starting July 6. China will make a separate announcement specifying the tariffs on the other product lines.

A spokesperson from China’s Ministry of Commerce said that the two countries have conducted rounds of consultations on bilateral trade, trying to settle disputes for a win-win result. However, it finds the U.S. decision to proceed with tariffs “deeply regrettable.” The spokesman said the U.S. has instead flip-flopped and “ignited a trade war.” This move not only hurts bilateral interests, he said, but also undermines global trade. “The Chinese side firmly opposes that,” he added.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made similar remarks Friday night, saying China does not want a trade war. However, he said China has no choice, but to “fight back” and  “firmly safeguard the interests of the nation and its people.”

Both spokespersons said the positive economic and trade outcomes from previous talks will now be lost. They also said that waging a trade war “undermines the world trade order.” China called “on all countries to take collective actions to curb” protectionism. Spokesman Lu called the U.S. tariffs “outdated and regressive.”

Dan Ikenson discusses the latest China-US trade conflict

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Dan Ikenson, an expert on trade at the Cato Institute, a think tank in Washington, on the current trade tension between China and the U.S.

Sam Zhao talks about the new trade war between the US and China

CGTN’s Mike Walter talked with Sam Zhao, the director of the Center for China-U.S. Cooperation at the University of Denver, about the likely effects of the new trade war between the U.S. and China.

Sourabh Gupta talks about the trade war between the U.S. and China

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Sourabh Gupta with the Institute for China-America Studies, about the impact of the dueling tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China.