China threatens new tariffs on $60 bln worth of US goods
The commerce ministry issued a statement saying the new duties would be applied if Washington pulled the trigger on U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The statement said China reserves the right to apply “other countermeasures,” as reported by AFP on Aug. 3.
“China always believes that consultation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit is an effective way to resolve trade differences,” the ministry said.
“Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties.”
The threat came a day after Chinese officials appealed for dialogue based on “mutual respect”, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi urging the United States to remain “cool-headed.”
U.S. officials said on Aug. 1 that Trump had asked the US Trade Representative to consider increasing the proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from the planned 10 percent.
Washington and Beijing are locked in battle over American accusations that China’s export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of American technological know-how.
Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit widened in June for the first time in four months as exports fell and imports grew.
Politically sensitive trade gaps with China, Mexico and Canada all increased, as reported by The Associated Press on Aug. 3.
The Commerce Department says the deficit in goods and services - the gap between what the U.S. sells and what it buys in foreign markets - rose 7.3 percent to $46.3 billion in June from $43.2 billion in May. U.S. exports slid 0.7 percent to $213.8 billion; imports rose 0.6 percent to $260.2 billion.
In the first half of the year, the United States has registered a trade deficit of $291.2 billion, up 7.2 percent from January-June 2017.
Trump campaigned on a promise to bring down the gap, which he blames on bad trade deals.