China plans tariffs on $3B worth of U.S. goods after Trump order

By Susan McFarland and Daniel Uria  |  March 22, 2018 at 10:03 AM
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March 22 (UPI) -- The Chinese government plans to impose tariffs on $3 billion worth of imports of U.S. goods in response to President Donald Trump's tariff announcement Thursday.

China's Commerce Ministry said it compiled a list of 120 products worth about $1 billion including fresh fruit and wine that will face a 15 precent tariff it both countries fail to resolve trade differences "within a stipulated time."

A 25 percent tariff on other goods such as pork and aluminum, could also be imposed after "further evaluating the impact of U.S. measures on China."

"China will certainly take all necessary measures to resolutely defend its legitimate rights and interests," Beijing's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Thursday.

Trump signed a presidential order to impose new tariffs, which could be worth about $60 billion, on imported Chinese products, as a means to stem "economic aggression" by Beijing.

Trump has said new tariffs will help lower the $375 billion U.S. trade deficit with China, while punishing what he says are unfair Chinese trade practices. The plan would affect imports that made up roughly 10 percent of Chinese goods sent to the United States last year.

The newly ordered tariffs are the first time the Trump administration has directly targeted China with trade sanctions. The administration's recent pledge to impose tariffs on foreign-made steel, aluminum and solar panels also impacts China.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China-U.S. economic relations are mutually beneficial, have opened vast markets and created a significant number of jobs in both countries in the last 40 years.

"[A] trade war will only produce losers. The legendary impenetrable 'super armor' that shields one from any harm simply does not exist," Hua said. "We want no trade war with anyone, but if our hands are forced, we will not quail nor recoil from it.

"If the day did come when the U.S. took measures to hurt our interests, we will definitely take firm and necessary countermeasures to safeguard our legitimate interests."

During a news conference Wednesday, Hua said trade with China has also lowered financial burdens for U.S. families. In 2015, China-U.S. trade helped each family save $850 on average, she said.

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