China took a shot at the United States on Friday, announcing retaliatory tariffs of $60 billion on U.S. imports to the nation.
China’s commerce ministry affirmed that the decision came in response to the U.S. move this week to increase proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from a 10 percent rate to 25 percent, the Financial Times reported. The retaliation is in line with threats that the country had made to issue tariffs on U.S. goods essentially matching the amounts of new U.S. tariffs imposed on China.
President Donald Trump has called out China for unfair trading practices, theft of U.S. intellectual property, and a massive U.S. trade deficit with China.
It was not clear from the China commerce ministry announcement which U.S. goods would be levied with the new tariffs.
On Wednesday news broke of the U.S. decision to raise the proposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent. These tariffs have not yet been imposed.
The U.S. has slapped China with new tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods with another $16 billion more soon to be imposed. Trump has warned that the U.S. is considering up to $500 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese goods.
China’s prior retaliatory tariffs have been focused on goods that hit farmers and industries that some have identified as typically supportive of President Trump. The U.S. has issued temporary emergency financial aid of $12 billion to American farmers as the trade fight plays out.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in June rebuked China, the European Union, and other countries for slapping retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. using “groundless legal theory” under the WTO.
Not a month after Lighthizer’s rebuke, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with President Trump at the White House where the two then held a joint press conference announcing the E.U. and U.S. would work toward and operate in the spirit of a “zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods” trade deal.