In what could be seen as retaliatory measure, China has slapped extra tariffs on 128 U.S. products including frozen pork, wine, certain fruits and nuts of up to 25 percent in response to the U.S. duties earlier imposed on imports of aluminum and steel. China ‘s finance ministry has confirmed said action.
The tariffs will take effect immediately on Monday, even as they were only announced late on Sunday. The measure match a list of potential tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by China last week of March.
Eight other products which also include pork will already be subject to additional tariffs of 25 percent and will be effective from April 2.
China is also suspending its obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to reduce tariffs on 120 U.S. goods including fruits. The tariffs on the said products will be raised by an additional 15 percent.
The country is defending its suspension of its tariff concessions by arguing that such is a legitimate action adopted under WTO rule “to safeguard China’s interests.”
The newest move of China could further escalate trade tensions between the two economic powerhouse- Washington and Beijing. President Trump is preparing to impose tariffs of more than $50 billion on Chinese goods meant to penalize China over beliefs that the country systematically misappropriated American intellectual property. China has vehemently denied such accusations.
Trump said early last month that he planned to apply steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. He has since exempted many other countries, but not China. Late last month, Trump also took measures to limit China’s ability to invest in the U.S, technology industry. He has also accused China of abusing trade rules, aside from stealing U.S. intellectual property. Trump said China could be responsible for the closure of 60,000 factories and the loss of 6 million jobs for the U.S.
China has long promised to open its economy wider but many foreign companies insist that China continue to practice unfair treatment in its business dealings.