China plans retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports

US President Donald Trump vowed on Thursday to double down in his tit-for-tat trade rift with China by imposing further tariffs of up to $100 billion (€82 billion) on Chinese imports.

The president said he was acting in response to China's announcement of plans to introduce new import taxes on $50 billion worth of American goods.

"Such measures would undoubtedly cause further harm to American workers, farmers, and businesses", he said in a statement.

China's decision to impose retaliatory tariffs on a range of products, including a 25% tariff on U.S. pork, comes as a countermeasure to the proposed tariff increases on Chinese imports by the U.S. But if that threat is carried through, the blow to the U.S. pork industry could be severe.

China has also launched a challenge against Trump's first round of tariffs at the World Trade Organization.

"China will dedicate itself to the end and at any cost and will definitely fight back firmly" if the United States persists in its "protectionism", the ministry said in a statement. "There's still time to advocate in a way that they might not be implemented", Merritt says.

China, in its notice to the WTO, said it was seeking consultations "concerning the proposed tariffs measures that the United States accords to certain goods in various sectors including machinery, electronics, etc. originating in China".

Chinese officials are yet to respond to the latest tariff threats by the US.

The ruling Communist Party's People's Daily said Beijing's quick counter-move after Washington announced new tariffs this week had caught the Americans off guard. The two countries have signaled that they will seek to settle their differences before the tariffs take effect. "They are one that we rely on very significantly".

"We don't want a trade war, but we are not afraid of such a war", a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce told state-run news agency Xinhua on Friday.

Trump campaigned on a pledge to take aggressive action to reduce America's massive trade deficits. On Thursday, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska accused Trump of not have a realistic plan for reining in China's trade problems. An independent bipartisan USA commission estimated that US interests lost $300 billion from global intellectual property theft in 2013, with China the main culprit.

"We are on a unsafe downward spiral and American families will be on the losing end", he added in a statement. "This is the dumbest possible way to do this". That's on top of the 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum the White House previously announced.

In a first round move, China on Monday had imposed fresh levies on 128 USA items, worth $3 billion, setting the tone for retaliatory cycle of tariffs.

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