China unveils additional retaliatory tariffs on $60bn of USA goods

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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.

"We hope that those directly involved in the United States' trade policies can calm down, carefully listen to the voices of USA consumers. and hear the collective call of the worldwide community", Wang Yi, the Chinese government's top diplomat and a member of the country's state council, or cabinet, said in Singapore.

Donald Trump might be about to heat up his trade spat with Beijing.

Reacting to media reports that the higher tariffs were coming, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang warned that Beijing will "definitely fight back" to defend its "lawful rights and interests".

Trump's threats of higher tariffs weighed on China's financial markets.

In early July, the United States imposed 25 per cent tariffs on an initial $34 billion of Chinese goods.

Holding an open door to talks while threatening worse consequences represents yet another increase in tension in the months-long standoff between the world's two largest economies over trade.

In fact, one reason the White House intensified its tariff threats this week is because some administration officials believe that China has intentionally allowed its currency to weaken in recent months, making it cheaper for its companies to export goods to the United States.

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The administration has said the tariffs would remain in effect until China opens its markets to more competition and stops what the US says are unfair practices.

China announced Friday it will put tariffs on $60 billion of US imports if the USA moves forward with 25% tariffs on $200 billion goods.

That led Trump to begin planning new tariffs on $200 billion in additional Chinese goods, triggering China's new plan to penalize imports on $60 billion in USA goods.

China already has retaliated with tariffs, hitting US farm products in particular.

The $200 billion list of goods targeted for tariffs - which also include Chinese tilapia fish, printed circuit boards and lighting products - would have a bigger impact on consumers than previous rounds of tariffs. "I think it would be a very complicated thing to get out of, because I don't see an easy remedy once we go down this path", said Michael Camuñez, president and CEO of Monarch Global Strategies and former USA assistant secretary of commerce for market access during the Obama administration.

Lighthizer noted that if tariffs are increased to 25 percent, they would be applied to the proposed list of products that were announced on July 10.

Over the past 15 years since the establishment of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, Wang said China-ASEAN relations have developed from growth to maturity, thus entering a new phase of all-round development. He also has threatened a further round of tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

Hearings are scheduled for Aug. 20 to 23 and the comment period has been extended to September 5 from late August, according to Lighthizer's office. The government will seek public comment on the higher tariffs.