In a tit-for-tat action, China on Saturday imposed additional duties on Dollars 50 billion worth of American products, a day after United States President Donald Trump slapped a stiff 25 per cent tariff on Chinese goods worth a similar amount, triggering a full-fledged trade war between the world's two largest economies.
On veiling the tariffs yesterday, Trump said: "In light of China's theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices, the U.S. will implement a 25 per cent tariff on $50bn of goods from China that contain industrially significant technologies". The US imported $505 billion of goods from China a year ago and exported about $130 billion, leaving a 2017 deficit of $376 billion, according to government figures. "We will immediately introduce the same scale and equal taxation measures, and all economic and trade achievements reached by the two sides will be invalidated".
Trump's trade war measures against China were praised by leading Democrats, who had previously criticized his decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs of up to 25 percent on USA allies.
Yesterday, the Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on a wide range of Chinese products (659 in total), worth around $US50 billion in annual trade.
Some companies that source materials from China could eventually look for suppliers in other Asian countries with low labor costs including Vietnam, the Philippines and Bangladesh, but many will take a wait-and-see approach because it takes times to rewire supply chains, said Erik Lundh, an economist specializing in China for The Conference Board, a major business group. "He adds: "'There is no trade war.
"We have the great brain power in Silicon Valley, and China and others steal those secrets", Trump said on "Fox & Friends".
The Global Times, a tabloid run by the People's Daily, called the US move "an irresponsible act on behalf of the White House to disrupt worldwide trade just to appeal to American voters who are convinced their president is fighting for them".
Trump has long complained about China's huge trade surplus with the United States.
United States carmakers, which have targeted China as a key growth market, are also expected to be hit by the bruising tariffs.
A set of retaliatory tariffs released Friday by China includes a plan to tax American lobster exports, potentially jeopardizing one of the biggest markets for the premium seafood. "They expressed the understanding for using tariffs as an integral part of trade negotiations but stressed concerns about the potential negative impacts on agriculture when tariffs are used as a weapon in a trade war". China had warned the White House earlier Friday that it would respond "in the first instance" to protect its economy if Trump moved forward with any tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. The United States now dominates those industries, but Chinese government support could make it hard for USA companies to compete.
In a statement Friday, Mr Trump pledged additional tariffs if China follows through on the retaliation threats. They view plans for state-led development of companies capable of competing globally in fields including electric cars, renewable energy and biotech as a route to prosperity and to restore China to its rightful role as a world leader.
Vegetables took up 14.6 percent of China's imports from the U.S.in 2016, while fuel was 2.3 percent, and transportation products - mostly airplanes - accounted for 9.6 percent, according to the World Bank.
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