April 4 (UPI) — China urged the Trump administration to resolve trade tensions through negotiations and warned that countries like the United States could experience a “bitter taste” with the escalation of tariff wars.
The message came from Beijing’s foreign ministry following the announcement of new retaliatory tariffs of up to 25 percent by China on imports from the United States that include U.S. agricultural products and metals.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday the “door to dialogue” between China and the United States remains open, Xinhua reported.
Geng also claimed China has made sufficient efforts to resolving trade disputes through dialogue, then warned the United States of the consequences of a trade war where both sides escalate tariffs.
“China wishes each country enjoys the opportunity of development but if governments insist on protectionism it would be like closing the gates to China, and the experience of a bitter taste will follow,” Geng said, paraphrasing statements made by Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Geng also urged the U.S. government to listen to the voice of the American people.
China’s new tariffs appear to be targeting areas of the United States with an industrial base that may have supported Trump.
The tariffs on U.S. steel could be targeting the Rust Belt, where Trump gained critical support in 2016 that helped him win the presidential election.
China could be targeting the region ahead of U.S. midterm elections in November to weaken Trump’s support base, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Wednesday.