BEIJING (AP) — China slammed the latest U.S. tariff threat as a “totally unacceptable” escalation of their trade battle and vowed Wednesday to protect its “core interests.”
The Commerce Ministry gave no details of possible retaliation but Beijing earlier threatened “comprehensive measures.” That prompted fears it might go beyond matching Washington’s duty increases by disrupting operations for U.S. companies in China.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office announced a $200 billion list of Chinese goods for possible 10 percent tariffs including fish, apples and burglar alarms. It said that was in response to Beijing’s failure to change its policies and to retaliate for last week’s U.S. tariff hike by increasing its own duties on American goods.
“It is totally unacceptable for American side to publish a tariff list in a way that is accelerating and escalating,” said a Commerce Ministry statement. “To protect the core interests of the nation and its people, the Chinese government will be forced to impose necessary countermeasures.”
On Friday, Washington imposed additional 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of imports from China including medical equipment, electronics and factory machinery. Beijing responded by imposing similar charges on the same amount of American imports including soybeans and orange juice.