Beijing has announced plans to retaliate immediately against the latest round of US tariffs on Chinese imports by slapping a wide range of American products, worth $16 billion, with a 25 percent levy.
According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the measure will come into effect on August 23, the same day as America’s latest levies. Products being targeted now include crude oil, cars, steel and medical equipment.
The measure comes shortly after Washington released the latest list of Chinese goods worth $16 billion that are set to face a 25 percent tariff. The step brought the total worth of Chinese goods facing a 25 percent tariff to $50 billion.
Trade tensions between the US and China have been intensifying over recent months with each country imposing levies on mutual imports with extra duties. In July, Washington imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. US President Donald Trump accused Beijing of “being vicious” on trade, stressing that Chinese measures were targeting US farmers on purpose.
President Trump had repeatedly expressed discontent over the US trade deficit with China, accusing the country of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, and of providing state aid to Chinese firms.
In July, the Chinese trade surplus with the US dropped three percent, reports South China Morning Post. China’s exports to the US fell by 2.5 percent to $41.5 billion month-on-month, while imports of US goods plunged 1.5 percent to $13.4 billion, according to data from General Administration of Customs on Wednesday, as quoted by the media.
All in all, China’s trade surplus with the US shrank to $28.08 billion in July against $28.97 billion in the previous month. Year-on-year, the growth of China’s exports to the US slowed to 11 percent last month from 12.5 percent in June, while import growth accelerated to 11 percent from 9 percent.