China Plans Tariffs on $60 Billion of U.S. Goods

Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a meeting during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing

A first round of tariffs came into effect on 6 July, when the U.S. imposed 25% taxes on $34bn of Chinese imports.

"China always believes that consultation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit is an effective way to resolve trade differences", the commerce ministry said. Beijing responded by imposing similar charges on the same amount of USA products.

The White House has responded by saying Beijing's threats are weak and that the Chinese economy is in trouble.

China is threatening to put big tariffs on imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States.

Trump has accused China of pursuing unfair trading practices and stealing American firms' intellectual property, while using import tariffs to push Beijing towards renegotiating its trade policy with the US.

Duties ranging from 5 per cent to 25 per cent will be levied on 5,207 kinds of American imports if the USA delivers its proposed taxes on another US$200 billion of Chinese goods, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website late Friday.

The US tariffs now in place or threatened add up to nearly half of the value of goods it imported from China a year ago.

Economists have warned that the tit-for-tat import duties, which have unsettled the USA stock market, could undercut manufacturing through disruptions to the supply chain and put a brake on the strong economic growth. Approximately $16.4 billion of the imports targeted are chemicals and plastics products.

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The tariffs would be imposed at four different tax rates, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

"The US side has repeatedly escalated the situation against the interests of both enterprises and consumers".

The State Council outlined the plan just days after the USA said it was considering higher tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods than initially planned.

The Ministry threat came after Mr. Wang met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore on Friday. This showed that China was trying to find ways to avoid escalating the trade war, and leave room for negotiation.

Speaking just hours after China unveiled the countermeasures on Friday, Larry Kudlow, Trump's chief economic adviser, said the USA president was willing to follow through with his threats, in a stark warning to Beijing.

The People's Bank of China has announced new requirements for certain types of trading in the yuan, measures that are aimed at stabilising the currency.

The United States was the fourth-largest supplier of foreign chocolate products to China in 2017, worth around $24 million, after Italy, Russia and Belgium, according to customs data. Helicopters with an empty weight of less than 2 tonnes were also on that list.

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