Beijing (AFP) – A trade war with the US will benefit no one, China warned Thursday, adding it was prepared to give as good as it gets if US President Donald Trump fires the first shots.
“Choosing a trade war is surely the wrong prescription, in the end you will only hurt others and yourself,” foreign minister Wang Yi said during a press conference, adding that “China will certainly make an appropriate and necessary response.”
The Trump administration is expected to formally introduce previously announced tariffs on steel and aluminium imports on Thursday in the US.
US imports from China of these two goods make up a small proportion of its total imports from the world’s second largest economy.
But the tariffs may be the first foray in an American trade war with Beijing.
In coming weeks, the Trump administration is expected to issue a report on intellectual property theft which may hammer China and possibly incite further tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports.
Trump brought up the forthcoming moves on Wednesday, saying on Twitter that the US had asked China to develop a plan to reduce the deficit by one billion dollars.
The amount is a drop in the bucket compared with record $375.2 billion trade deficit with China the US racked up last year.
“The U.S. is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft. We cannot allow this to happen as it has for many years!” the president also tweeted on Wednesday.