China threatens retaliatory tariffs on US products | News | DW | 23.03.2018
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China threatens retaliatory tariffs on US products

China said it was "not afraid of and will not recoil from a trade war" as it announced a list of potential tariffs on US goods. Fears of a trade war have sent jitters through global markets.

China may impose $3 billion ($2.4 billion) in tariffs on a range of US products in response to US tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said Friday.

The Commerce Ministry urged Washington to negotiate "to avoid damage to overall Chinese-US cooperation."

"The Chinese side urges the US side to resolve the concerns of the Chinese side as soon as possible," it said.

Read more: Did Donald Trump really just launch a trade war with China? 

The proposed tariffs include a 15 percent levy on fresh fruit, nuts and wine valued at $1 billion. The threat mirrors the US duty hike of 15 percent on aluminum.

The 25 percent US steel duty may be met with a similar tariff on pork and aluminum scrap, the Commerce Ministry said. A total of 128 US products have been identified for tariffs if the two sides cannot come to an understanding.

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The ministry added that it would take the United States to the World Trade Organization, saying Washington "severely damaged the multilateral trade system."

In a harshly worded statement, the Chinse Embassy in Washington said Beijing was "not afraid of and will not recoil from a trade war."

Read more: Asian markets jittery over trade war fears

"If a trade war were initiated by the US, China would fight to the end to defend its own legitimate interests with all necessary measures," it said.

The response comes as US President Donald Trump announced plans Thursday to impose $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods over alleged misuse of US intellectual property.

Read more: US set to impose $50 billion worth of tariffs on China over intellectual property 

More than 1,000 products may be hit by US duties, according to the US Trade Representative. Once a final list is published, there will be a 30-day consultation period, potentially allowing Beijing and Washington to negotiate.

cw/sms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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