China has announced plans to impose tariffs on 60 billion dollarsí worth of US goods as of the beginning of next month, a retaliatory measure taken amid escalating trade war between the two sides in the aftermath of Washingtonís move to tax almost all Chinese imports to the United States.
The Chinese Finance Ministry said in a statement on Monday that Beijing would impose tariffs ranging from 5 to 25 percent on 5,140 American products on its billion-dollar target list.
The ministry said the tariffs would take effect on June 1.
The statement came shortly after US President Donald Trump warned China not to retaliate or otherwise the country would be "hurt very badly" if a deal to end the escalating trade war is not reached between Washington and Beijing.
"I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries," Trump said in a tweet. "Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!”
Speaking earlier on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuan said Beijing will never surrender to external pressure and that the country’s leadership was well endowed to defend its nation against any pressure by foreigners.
“Raising tariffs will not solve any problems. China will never surrender to external pressure. We have the determination and the ability to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests,” Geng said. “Wait and see” what Beijing’s response will be.
The Washington-Beijing trade dispute escalated on Friday, when the US increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods after the American head of state accused Beijing of “breaking the deal” by reneging on earlier commitments made during months of talks.
Trump also ordered US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China, a move that would affect about an additional $300 billion worth of goods.
Last week, China and the US concluded the 11th round of high-level economic and trade consultations between the two sides in Washington, without reaching any deal aimed at ending their trade tensions.
The talks broke down after Chinese representatives reportedly backtracked on promises to address issues like theft of intellectual property, after which the US announced an increase of Chinese tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
Trump has urged China to either sign the deal now or it will be forced to sign a far worse agreement in future.
Instant reaction to China’s retaliation
Following China’s announcement to retaliate US tariffs hikes on Monday, the Wall Street has been heading for sharper falls as the sight of Beijing hitting back against Washington gives investors a fright.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 450 points, or 1.7 percent, at 25,000. The Nasdaq index was rattling towards a 2.5-percent plunge.
Major technology companies have also been hit hard by the latest tit-for-tat retaliations between the US and China.
Apple is sliding by five percent since many products such as iPhones are assembled there.
Facebook and Amazon are also being swept up in the selloff.