Trade War Looms as China Hits Back at Trump Tariffs

Beijing targets 3 biggest US imports
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2018 6:12 AM CDT
Updated Apr 4, 2018 6:44 AM CDT
A worker arranges imported soybeans at a port in Nantong in east China's Jiangsu province.   (Chinatopix via AP)
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(Newser) – China says it doesn't want a trade war—but it's not going to back down if President Trump starts one. After the Trump administration recommended new 25% tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods Tuesday, Beijing hit back within hours with its own proposed tariffs on 106 American products accounting for around $50 billion in trade, raising fears of an all-out trade war between the world's two biggest economies, the New York Times reports. The new categories of American goods that would face tariffs under the move include aircraft, soybeans, and cars, which were last year's three biggest exports from the US to China, reports the Guardian. Other goods targeted include whisky, tobacco, cotton, wheat, and corn.

As Asian markets tumbled, a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing slammed Trump's approach to trade issues. "Those who attempt to make China surrender through pressure or intimidation have never succeeded before, and will not succeed now," said Geng Shuang. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that many of the 106 items on China's list, including sorghum and beef, were included in an attempt to target states that voted for Trump. But both sides still have a chance to back down from the brink of trade war. China hasn't said when its tariffs will take effect, and the US tariffs are not due to take effect until May 11 at the earliest. (China announced new tariffs on another 128 US products earlier this week.)

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