BEIJING (AP) — China will immediately retaliate against any move by the U.S. to impose punishing tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, the foreign ministry said Friday.
Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also said China would cancel any commitments to increase purchases of U.S. exports should tariffs be imposed.
“If the U.S. takes unilateral and protectionist measures that harm China’s interests, we will make an immediate response and take necessary measures to defend our legitimate rights and interests,” Geng said at a daily briefing.
Geng gave no details. Beijing has drawn up a list of $50 billion in U.S. products that would face retaliatory tariffs, including beef and soybeans — a shot at Trump’s supporters in rural America.
Trump reportedly met Thursday with several Cabinet members and trade advisers and was expected to impose tariffs on at least $35 billion to $40 billion of Chinese products as early as Friday.
China had earlier offered to increase purchases of U.S. goods to help defuse the crisis, but Geng said all such proposals would be off the table if Washington went ahead with tariffs.
“We made clear in this statement that all economic and trade outcomes of the talks will not take effect if the U.S. side imposes any trade sanctions, including raising tariffs,” Geng said.