China threatens new tariffs on US$60b worth of U.S. goods

Beijing retaliated by imposing similar charges on the same amount of US products.

The Trump administration has issued temporary emergency financial support of $12 billion to help farmers hard-hit by China's retaliatory tariffs such as soybean farmers.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called China's Vice-Premier Liu He last week in a bid to persuade Beijing to approve US chip maker Qualcomm's takeover deal of Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors, the Post reported.

China on Friday threatened to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of United States goods.

The highest penalties in Friday's list would hit honey, vegetables, mushrooms and other farm goods, targeting areas that supported Trump in the 2016 election.

The latest Chinese response shows the limits of Beijing's ability to hit back at Washington dollar for dollar, given that China's exports to the United States far exceed its U.S. imports.

Beijing's earlier round of tariffs appeared created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting soybeans, whiskey and other goods available from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers.

On March 1, President Donald Trump announced that the USA would be slapping a 25 percent tariff on all steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports.

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Chinese authorities warned earlier that if the dispute escalated, they would adopt unspecified "comprehensive measures". He told trade officials this week to consider raising that to 25 per cent. That prompted concern among American companies that retaliation might expand to disrupting their operations in China.

Beijing says the United States is deliberately creating the trade conflict, using bullying tactics, and ignoring global negotiating norms so that it can stop the rise of China as a competitor on the world stage.

"The implementation date will be subject to the actions of the United States, and China reserves the right to continue introducing other countermeasures". China's trading partners complain those might violate its market-opening pledges by subsidizing or shielding Chinese companies from competition.

Shipping containers, including one labelled "China Shipping", are stacked at the Paul W. Conley Container Terminal in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 9, 2018.

"We urge the United States to come to its senses, correct its erroneous acts and create the necessary condition for a proper settlement as soon as possible", spokesman Geng Shuang said. The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over United States demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit.

"The U.S. side has repeatedly escalated the situation against the interests of both enterprises and consumers", it said.

But wait: Didn't Trump recently brag that he had already turned trade deficits around? So far this year, the trade gap is up more than 7 percent from January-June 2017.

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