Muslim Times(Web Desk) – China is reportedly reviewing plans to hit back at aggressive US trade measures “in other ways,” a report says, citing Chinese officials.
Chinese officials familiar with the plan told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that Beijing was looking into alternative options as it imported only 130 billion dollars’ worth of goods from the US last year — not enough to match Washington’s tariffs on Chinese goods dollar for dollar.
Those alternatives include delaying the approvals of mergers and acquisitions involving US companies, holding up licenses for US firms, and “delaying and ramping up” inspections of American products at borders, the officials said.
A day earlier, the administration of US President Donald Trump had announced 10-percent tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
In a statement, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a wide-ranging list of Chinese goods to be hit with the new set of tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, coal, chemicals, and consumer electronics.
The Chinese government reacted strongly, calling the planned tariffs “totally unacceptable” and an instance of “typical bullying,” and warning that Beijing will respond with countermeasures.
“The Chinese side is shocked by the action of the US,” China’s Commerce Ministry said, adding that in order to safeguard the core interests of China and its people, Beijing “has no option but to take the necessary countermeasures.”
The US tariffs will not take effect immediately and will go through a two-month review process with hearings in late August.
Last week, the Trump administration imposed 25-percent tariffs on 34 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports; and Beijing, accusing Washington of “trade bullying,” responded immediately with matching tariffs on the same amount of US exports to China. US cars and major agricultural goods, such as soybeans and meat, were among those targeted with tariffs.
In an attempt to justify the unusually high tariffs, the US has accused China of undertaking “unfair practices” in trade.
But Trump has also waged trade wars with the US’s natural allies Europe and Canada. He has already started charging levies on the imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, Mexico, and Canada — not to mention China.
China says Washington is “opening fire” on the global economy, something Beijing says is bound to harm America itself as well.
Trump believes “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” But some American working-class communities — typically his popular base — are already feeling the opposite way.