Will fight at ‘any cost’, China on Trump’s USD 100 bn tariff threat
Beijing, April 6 (PTI): China will take “comprehensive countermeasures” and fight “at any cost” US President Donald Trump’s directive to authorities to consider tariffs on USD 100-billion worth of Chinese products, a top official said today.
The US, the world’s largest economy, has a trade deficit of almost USD 500 billion with China, the world’s second largest economy.
China will hit back with comprehensive countermeasures if US continues its unilateral, protectionist practices, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce said.
If the US continues its protectionism regardless of opposition from China and the international community, “China will fight to the end at any cost to protect the interests of the country and the people. The conflict was initiated by the United States as provocation,” the official said.
China will continue reforms and opening up, safeguard multilateral trade, and promote trade and investment liberalisation, the spokesperson said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang also made similar pledge when asked to comment on Trump’s direction.
By provoking a trade conflict with China, the US side in fact mounted a challenge to the world multilateralism and free trade regime with its unilateralism and protectionism, Lu said.
Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of the commerce ministry, said that China may cut down service trade with the US in view of the current trade conflict.
“China needs to have some countermeasures ready if the trade skirmish drags on,” he told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
The trade spate which is deteriorating into a trade war between the top two economies of the world began with Trump imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports into the US.
Trump, while demanding China to reduce the USD 375 billion by USD 100 billion, retaliated with tariffs on USD 50 billion in Chinese products. In retaliation, China announced plans to impose new tariffs on 106 American products.
China said the date of implementation of the new tariff regime will depend on when the US government imposes the tariffs on Chinese products.
Yesterday, China went a Larry Kudlow, the White House’s National Economic Council director, said on Wednesday that both the countries still had time to work out their differences.
And after a meeting with acting US Secretary of State John Sullivan, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai underscored the need to remain in close communication to restore fairness and balance to economic ties.