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China says tariff threat against US 'justified'

04 August, 2018, 14:10 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a meeting during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing

The statement said the date of implementation of the taxes will depend on the "actions of the USA side" and China reserves the right to apply "other countermeasures".

China's state media said on Saturday the government's retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion of US goods showed rational restraint and accused the United States of blackmail.

Chinese officials accused the U.S. of "unilaterally" heightening tensions between the two economic giants. China says if that happens, it will follow through with its taxes, which will range from 5% to 25%. It had also become the largest buyer of US crude oil outside of Canada, but Kpler, which tracks worldwide oil shipments, shows crude cargoes to China have also dropped off in recent months.

Last month, the U.S. and China imposed tariffs on US$34 billion of each other's imports, with Washington expected to levy more tariffs on another US$16 billion of Chinese goods in the coming weeks, a move that China has said it will match. China retaliated in kind.

China's largest refiner, Sinopec, will delay making any purchases of United States oil for September amid concern that Beijing will slap tariffs on American crude, making imports more expensive, according to a person familiar with the matter.

U.S. threats have escalated since, with the president saying he is ready to impose tariffs on all $500bn of Chinese imports.

But Mr Trump ratcheted up the pressure this week by asking US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider increasing the proposed tariffs to 25 per cent in a bid to force Beijing back to the negotiating table amid stalled talks.

Products in line for tariffs include meat, coffee, nuts, alcoholic drinks, minerals, chemicals, leather products, wood products, machinery, furniture and auto parts.


Beijing said the timing of the new tariffs would depend on whether the United States follows through on its threat.

The People's Bank of China has announced new requirements for certain types of trading in the yuan, measures that are aimed at stabilising the currency.

The rising tension could soon affect global oil flows.

The US trade deficit - the gap between exports and imports - widened by 7.3% to $46.3bn in June.

The trade deficit with China rose by nearly 1% to $33.5bn.

China became the world's second-biggest LNG importer in 2017, as it buys more gas in order to wean the country off dirty coal to reduce pollution.

"We are coming together with the European Union to make a deal with them, so we'll have a united front against China and, I think, most of our trade team would tell you, we're moving close on Mexico", he said. "He is going to stand tough".

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