China has once again threatened to slap retaliatory tariffs against the United States in response to the Trump administration's trade policies, this time targeting $60 billion in us imports with tariffs ranging from 5 percent to as high as 25 percent.
That move was a response to the Trump administration's proposal of a 25-percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over USA demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit, but China's response suggests the move had failed.
Trump threatened to slap a 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, while China threatened tariffs on another $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. That's in stark contrast to the US' one-size-fits-all tariff approach, which was ill-considered, they said.
A Chinese commerce ministry spokesperson said the date of implementation of the tariff measures will depend on USA actions and China reserves the right to introduce other countermeasures.
The statement said the date of implementation of the taxes will depend on the "actions of the US side" and China reserves the right to apply "other countermeasures".
There is no evidence that the Chinese government is financing an advertising campaign in the United States to convince US politicians that Trump's approach is wrong. Rather, the USA importers bringing the products into the United States pay the tariffs.
One of the biggest targets of the China tariffs has been farmers; Beijing is the biggest buyer of USA soybeans, importing more than $12.4 billion worth of the oil seed in 2017, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
President Donald Trump's administration has imposed duties on steel and aluminum imports, provoking retaliation by the United States' trade partners, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union. It said retaliatory duties of between 5 and 25 percent will be imposed on 5,207 products "if the USA side persists in putting its tariff measures into effect".
The timing of Friday's announcement hinted at that conflict.
Trump also took to twitter on Saturday to claim the tariffs are working and China is talking to the United States.
"We are using them to negotiate fair trade deals and, if countries are still unwilling to negotiate, they will pay us vast sums of money in the form of Tariffs", he wrote.
At the same time, Trump has credited tariffs with helping revitalize the steel industry.
The tensions are also having an impact on trade flows.
The overseas edition of the Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper said Trump was starring in his own "street fighter-style deceitful drama of extortion and intimidation", Reuters reported.
He added, however, that the United States had been sending "massive strategic weaponry" into the South China Sea and the region as a show of military might that puts pressure on China and other regional countries.
Vaping devices were not included in the first round of products hit with 25% tariffs on July 6th.